Easton

Reappointment pending



First Selectman Tom Herrmann,  203-268-6291 
Easton Town website http://www.eastonct.org/ 
Conservation Commission http://www.eastonct.org/conservation.htm 
Easton Elected Officials http://www.eastonct.org/elected.htm 

In 2010 researchers at the Department of Health Policy and Management, School of Health Sciences and Practice, New York Medical College compltede an economic study of all Fairfield County towns looking at the economic impact of deer overpopulation. It was estimated that Easton spends over $3.7 million every year on the problems caused by deer. Each single family residence is estimated to be spending over $1500 a year on expenses such as tick and deer repellent sprays, landscape deer exclusion fencing, shrub and other plant losses, auto accidents with deer and illnesses caused by ticks.
 

Easton strongly supported HB 5852: An Act Concerning the Control of Lyme Disease. Easton's Alliance rep at that time, Tony Neidenbach, gave oral and written testimony in favor of this bill on March 10 2008. Easton's First Selectman submitted written testimony in support of the bill and State Senator John McKinney voted in favor of the bill in the Environment Committee. Despite this, the bill was not brought up for a vote due to organized opposition by the HSUS who lobbied for the educational aspect of the bill to be eliminated.

In 2009 Easton will took part in the 14 town county-wide tick study being performed by the University of New Haven. Deer ticks were counted at sites across town and analyzed for the presence of borellia bacteria in an attempt to raise public awareness of the growing problems that ticks and deer pose. Overall 60 % of ticks were found to be infected with borrelia Lyme bacteria, many being found close to kids' recreational areas. For the detailed results and analysis go to:

http://www.acorn-online.com/news/publish/easton/30452.shtml

Public awareness of the severity of the deer problem:

Information is passed to the public through the following channels:

The DEP publication, Managing Urban Deer in Connecticut is a valuable source of data on all aspects of deer- from vehicle accidents, tick spread diseases and woodland and private property damage. Options for reducing deer populations are given and examples of how different local towns are approaching the problems. In Easton it is available at the Town Hall, Library and Health Department.

Posters from the FCDMA are displayed in the health department, post offices, the library, town hall offices and local stores. 

The joint organization known as the Conservation Land Committee (CLC), comprised of the CT Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Nature Conservancy and Aquarion Water Company of Connecticut (Aquarion), administers annual deer management program hunts in portions of land in the towns of Easton, Monroe, Newtown and Redding. These areas are former Aquarion Water Company properties that are now managed by the CLC, and have been formally designated as the Centennial Watershed State Forest. Shotgun hunt programs are administered by the DEP through a lottery system, and a permit-required archery program is administered by Aquarion. All requirements to address safety issues have been imposed.

The forests surrounding the Aquarion Water Company of Connecticut reservoirs play an important role in maintaining water quality. The deer management effort will reduce the herd and help protect the forest ecosystem and water quality. In addition, it is likely that deer-vehicle collisions in the area will decrease, and the deer damage to landscape plantings will be reduced. During the past two decades, state wildlife officials have documented a spiralling deer population in Fairfield County. Overbrowsing by deer is impacting tree regeneration resulting in a significant loss of vegetation and increased potential for soil erosion on watershed properties owned by Conservation Lands. These conditions may adversely impact the quality of untreated water supplies. For more information, please contact the CT DEP Wildlife Division at 1-860-642-7239, or Aquarion Water Company of Connecticut at 203-452-3511. 

An article in the Easton Courier on October 7 2005 summarises the work of the Alliance and its local members:http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=15346586&BRD=1344&PAG=461&dept_id=433791&rfi=6

The Alliance strongly encourages towns suffering from the effects of deer overpoulation to enlist the free help and advice of the CT DEP on how to effectively reduce nuisance deer numbers. DEP simply require an official letter from the town asking for their advice. The Towns of Redding, Brookfield are currently working with DEP to come up with affordable, safe and humane solutions to deer overpopulation in order to reduce their deer-vehicle accident rates, high number of tick borne illnesses and environmental destruction by excess deer.