Res #: 15-06M
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Environment
Resolution No. 15-06M
WHEREAS, the wildlife population has exploded in recent years, especially the deer population (mule and whitetail deer), which is causing serious issues such as:
– increased traffic accidents,
– concern of spreading Chronic Wasting Disease,
– significant crop loss,
– downgrading crop quality, mainly due to excreta for which there is zero tolerance resulting in the crop becoming an unusable commodity,
– the spread of invasive weed species, and
– potential herd health issues for domestic livestock;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Saskatchewan Environment respond to the need to deal with these issues and ensure that wildlife populations are properly managed and that compensation be increased to reflect the actual total costs and losses to farmers.
Response from Honourable John T. Nilson, Q.C., Minister of Environment:
With respect to this resolution, Saskatchewan Environment is aware of landowner concerns regarding high deer populations in some areas of the province, notably high white-tailed deer numbers in the forest fringe, and high mule deer populations in western areas. Deer densities are not uniform across the province and therefore different approaches are required for each species.
To address increasing mule deer populations, Saskatchewan Environment has increased antlerless quotas in many Wildlife Management Zones (WMZs) and in response to increasing white-tailed deer populations, Saskatchewan Environment has implemented antlerless seasons in some southern WMZs and nearly all forest fringe and forest WMZs. In 2004, Saskatchewan Environment developed a Big Game Management License that is used to direct hunting pressure toward a specific component of a deer herd. These licenses are valid for a specific area and may include a portion of a WMZ, an entire Rural Municipality (RM) or a group of RMs.
With respect to the issue of increased vehicle accidents with wildlife, deer density is one factor in deer/vehicle accidents. Traffic volume and speed are two contributing factors to increased traffic accidents. These are factors over which SE does not have any control. The spread of invasive weed species by deer is not supported by any studies or scientific literature that Saskatchewan Environment is aware of.
Saskatchewan Environment is concerned about the possible spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and has developed programs to reduce deer populations in areas where CWD has been documented. RMs and landowners have played a key role in developing this program and their continued cooperation is acknowledged and sincerely appreciated.
Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food is the agency responsible for establishing the terms and conditions of the Wildlife Compensation Program. A copy of this resolution has been forwarded to Honourable Mark Wartman, Minister of Agriculture and Food, to respond to issues pertaining to that program.