The Oshkosh Common Council dissolved the Urban Wildlife Committee Tuesday, less than four years after it was created to address urban deer incursions on the south side.
Councilors unanimously voted to bring the committee’s run to an end after hearing reports the board struggled to come up with action items after they successfully developed an urban wildlife management plan for the Parks Department.
“There’s been some concern from citizens at the final meeting that this was an acknowledgement by the city that there’s no urban wildlife issues anymore,” Councilor Sean Fitzgerald said. “But the work done by this committee to set up policies that Parks is enforcing right now. We’re not saying there’s no problem, we’re just saying the work of the committee is done.”
Following its initial meeting on Dec. 14, 2009, the board was tasked to develop a management plan that covered everything from acceptable urban deer populations to methods to address Canadian geese nuisances to mice to coyotes. The plan was adopted in September 2010 and remains in effect today.
The urban deer issue was particularly crucial to the committee’s establishment after the city hired sharpshooters in 2009 to reduce the population, largely based in the Vulcan Quarry area.
Parks Director Ray Maurer told Councilors that the city was engaged in ongoing deer management discussions with Michels, which operates the quarry.