The following was submitted to the NSEA website regarding the local deer issue. The NSEA Board is not taking a definitive position on this issue, but encourages individual Association members to become involved as they feel appropriate.
Subject: Contact Form Submission from James Gray
Name: James Gray
Comments: Dear Members of the Board,
We are contacting you regarding activity we consider dangerous and therefore a serious threat to residents living in the North Shore, North Holiday and Lake Hills area. The Ottawa County Parks Commissioner, Mr. John Scholtz, attended a meeting called by John Nash of Spring Lake Township on 3/23/12. The meeting was to discuss deer. Mr. Scholtz is lobbying to have weapons brought into our area to kill deer in the North Ottawa Dunes. As you can imagine, as people find this out, they are not happy. We should not tolerate having our neighborhoods turned into hunting grounds. The county parks commission is presenting a draft proposal for hunting in our park at their May 2nd meeting.
Mr. Scholtz’s concern is deer browse damaging the dunes. Research shows there is far more at play than deer with the disappearance of Trillium and other plant species. Human damage to the dunes outweighs more than the deer could do in a hundred years. The deer follow the same small trails.
The North Ottawa Area Dunes were acquired through the work and donations of many people. This is their/our land – not hunting land. Never did county leaders say that guns and bows would fill that beautiful area. Please read the science surrounding compensatory rebound. If Mr. Scholtz would like fewer deer in the North Ottawa Dunes, he should lobby to stop the lottery hunts in neighboring Hoffmaster Park. He will be creating a situation that creates more and more deer. In addition to Hoffmaster, there is hunting in the other areas that surround the North Ottawa dunes. There is also significant poaching. The DNR may tell you the numbers in Ottawa County for deer are higher than they would like. That is their management issue and not something we will sacrifice our safe neighborhoods for.
The Kitchel-Lindquist Dunes Board is categorically opposed to any killing of any kind. In fact, the bylaws state it is not permitted. The city of Ferrysburg also wants no part of this. It is the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners and the SLT Board of Trustees who need to hear from us. The county owns and manages the park.
We are not sure why the county and perhaps John Nash are pursuing this agenda. People would rather see the wildlife than some Trillium plants – especially when their solution is killing. They certainly would rather have their children safe when they play outside than to be in danger over plants. We would hope that Ottawa County would not make the mistake of hurting tourism in this area by replacing Pure Michigan billboards with images of bullets flying by the heads of visitors to our dunes. I am sure you are aware of the incident at the Grand Haven Rod and Gun Club this past winter.
The Tri-Cities Safety Coalition is a newly formed voting bloc. We will work to elect local leaders who care about the safety of our neighborhoods. Please join us on Facebook and/or send an email to email@example.com with your name and address. Invite your neighbors to do the same. Neighborhoods are for families not firearms. Please call or email the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners and tell them to reconsider this agenda of bringing guns and killing to our back yards.
The Tri-Cities Safety Coalition