RYE, N.Y. -- Mamaroneck Mayor Norman Rosenblum said he plans to invite elected officials in neighboring towns to join a regional task force to devise ways to collectively control the rising deer population.
After a Wednesday night public meeting with state Department of Environmental Conservation and Westchester County Parks officials at Rye City Hall, Rosenblum said he is proposing a task force of police, park and environmental officials from the towns and villages of Harrison, Mamaroneck and Rye as well as the village of Larchmont and city of White Plains.
"It is a regional problem and deer don't know boundaries, obviously,'' Rosenblum said on Thursday. "Each municipality has to look at its codes."
Rosenblum said the county has been successful in reversing damage within its parks by offering annual bow hunting permits to reduce the deer population. "Deer are destroying the county's ecology as they are eating up foliage,'' the mayor said.
In the meantime, Rosenblum said he will continue to explore the possibility of bow hunting within the Village of Mamaroneck, through direct discussions with state DEC officials.
Animal rights activists disagree with Rosenblum's belief that the deer population can be reduced through hunting, saying he has a track record of proposing extreme action when dealing with geese and coyotes in the village.
Kiley Blackman, founder of Animal Defenders of Westchester, called Wednesday's meeting in Rye "the worst one I've ever been to,'' since it failed to include preservation as a point of view.
For example, Blackman said the village of Hastings plans to reduce its deer population through birth control, which her organization favors over killing deer.
"He's on a total rampage,'' Blackman said of Rosenblum. "He said this has to be done throughout New York state. This is not 'American Sniper.'''
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