Formation of a State-wide Coalition

Alliance Meeting July 2007

At the last meeting of the FCDMA on July 2 2007, representatives voted to join and support a statewide Connecticut Coalition to promote public education on the need to effectively manage the deer population state wide. During our 3 or 4 years of existence the Fairfield County Deer Management Alliance has come to realize that while deer population management is a town by town decision and a town based activity, the dissemination of information on the need to reduce deer numbers and on the benefits to communities of so doing, is better achieved at a higher regional and state level. State and indeed federal bodies and agencies not only gather a lot of state wide data themselves (for example the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Department of Public Health (DPH) but they also have the means of easily disseminating such data through their web sites, printed materials and Press releases. Our goal is to encourage these federal and state level organizations to play a greater role in explaining the link between deer numbers and environmental destruction, loss of other species that are dependent on understory habitat, and the link between deer numbers, tick populations and the spread of these diseases to the human population. The coalition will ask for help in getting information out to the public on deer and Lyme research studies and on trends in relevant data such as deer populations, Lyme incidence, deer vehicle accidents, tick infection rates etc.

A second benefit of a state wide organization is that it will now be easier to get information to key legislators who do not live in Fairfield County towns and who do not read our local articles. We have had very limited success this last year in promoting any of the legislative changes that we feel are essential to achieve effective deer management and prevention of disease.

We have also been approached by towns beyond the Fairfield County region who would like to join our activities and help promote state-wide participation in alleviating all the damaging effects of the over population of deer. The members present at the meeting voted not to become a state-wide alliance but rather to become members of a statewide coalition while maintaining our identity as the FCDMA for local regional issues. Such a coalition can accept membership from a broader group of organizations such as the Connecticut Audubon and The Nature Conservancy as well as from individuals and municipalities.

The recent focus of the Alliance has been on trying to facilitate communication between Connecticut DEP and Connecticut DPH and thereby help these two agencies to achieve control of deer numbers and tick populations and hence Lyme disease. We now realize that we need the help of the State Governor to achieve this. A primary goal of the new Connecticut Coalition will be to ask for the Governor's help.

To read more about the newly formed Coalition go to www.EradicateLymeDisease.org