At the request of Ann Arbor officials, the University of Michigan has agreed to make university-owned property available for possible inclusion in the city’s 2017 deer-management program.
U-M’s participation comes after the city successfully completed a 2016 program, culling 63 deer across 14 city parks and nature areas throughout January and February.
Jim Kosteva, U-M director of community relations, says the university’s participation is an act of good citizenship toward the community and another example of what being a good neighbor looks like.
“The city has graciously undertaken the bulk of the legwork involved — researching, doing its homework and completing the first year of the cull. Now that they have the experience, they said the cull could be more successful with our participation and we want to do our part by being a good neighbor in this way, while ensuring the safety of university-based constituents,” he says.
The timing and precise locations of the deer cull this winter are still to be determined. The university has indicated four campus locations where, under certain conditions, lethal cull methods using firearms will be considered. They are:
• Nichols Arboretum.
• Acreage between the Huron River and the railroad, south of Fuller-Mitchell fields.
• Acreage south of Glazier Way and east of Fuller Road.
• Acreage south of Hubbard and west of Huron Parkway.
If the company hired by the city decides to use any university property for the cull, the property will be closed to the public from 4 p.m. until 7 a.m. during specified weekdays.
University officials also have indicated a willingness to consider the city’s non-lethal deer-management approach on other North Campus property if the activity takes place during the university’s mid-winter break, Feb. 25-March 5. The campus will be significantly less populated during that week.
Kosteva says allowing the city access to Nichols Arboretum is especially important because both the city and the university own portions of the property. He says it would have been difficult for the city to be effective in its attempts to carry out the cull in the area if it was limited by property lines.
The university has agreed to contribute approximately 15 percent of the total cost of the cull, not to exceed $25,000, which is the approximate percentage of university-owned property within Wards 1 and 2 of the city.
The dates, times and locations of the cull have not been made final. Once details are final, U-M’s Division of Public Safety and Security will ensure the university community is properly notified and that signage is posted prominently in the designated cull areas.