BU Plans Study of Deer Culling Impact

By Lindsay Nielsen

December 28, 2011 Updated Dec 28, 2011 at 8:05 PM EDT

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Following the New York Supreme Court's decision to block Binghamton University's plans to kill a large portion of its deer population, BU says it's ready to take the steps to get the plan back on track.

Binghamton University must conduct a study on the environmental impact of its deer culling plan, to allow sharpshooters to take up to 90 deer at the Nature Preserve.

Alex Karasev lives near the preserve.

"Killing without really studying isn't the right way to do it. I would really be for studying it first to see what the starting number is, and then whatever comes from that," says Karasev.

BU plans to move ahead with the study as soon as possible.

For some, that's not the only issue.

In Defense of Animals was part of the lawsuit stop to BU from culling.

"What happens when you kill deer is that they regenerate and then you're back to killing them again, it's been proven time and time again in so many communities across the U.S," says Barbara Stagno of In Defense of Animals.

BU will remove all of the "Do Not Enter" signs on the Nature Preserve.

The DEC says the wildlife nuisance permit BU received allowed for the use of firearm or bow hunting equipment to take the deer.

Also, the use of bait to attract deer to enhance both the safety and effectiveness of the process.

White Buffalo. is the company hired by BU to perform the culling.

"These people shoot the does also. They shoot the fawns. It may mean the doe is standing there with the fawn and suddenly the fawn's head explodes as its hit by a bullet," says David Bernheim, Attorney for plaintiff Charles Carpentar and the In Defense of Animals organization.

The White Buffalo website states that deer of all ages and sexes are harvested, and adult does are prioritized.

As part of the study, there will be another public hearing.

"They need to involve the public when they make a decisions that involves killing wildlife," says Stagno.

BU had planned to have the culling done before the New Year.

Now, it's on temporary hold until the study is done and another court hearing is held.

BU tells Action News " Our ultimate goal is to control the devastation that the Nature Preserve is undergoing due to the deer overpopulation."

BU says it hopes to move forward once it complies with the judges orders.

The DEC tells Action News it issued the permit to BU because the need for a nuisance permit was demonstrated as well as an acceptable, safe means of culling.

The DEC also says it has the authority to issue the permit without further SEQR review.

"The DEC conducted a SEQRA analysis on this and other types of wildlife management actions previously which determined that such actions would not have negative impacts on the environment and, as such, were Type II actions and, therefore, exempt from SEQRA," says Emily DeSantis, Director of Public Information for the DEC.

It is also important to note, DEC was not a party to the lawsuit and the judge made no determinations about the permitting process, " says DeSantis.

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