“The DNR values the statewide significance and cultural traditions surrounding deer, and recognizes the importance of hearing from all citizens who have a stake in how deer are managed,” said Adam Murkowski, DNR big game program leader.
Overall goals of the deer plan include setting a statewide harvest objective, describing the DNR’s responsibilities and activities related to deer management, addressing regional variations in deer habitat and populations, and guiding the agency’s management of deer into the future.
The DNR has already had early conversations about the plan with interested groups. A statewide deer plan advisory committee will be formed this fall, and opportunities for citizen input will be announced. The DNR aims to complete the plan by the spring of 2018.
“To ensure the deer plan best reflects statewide interests, we’ll be actively soliciting input from the general population in addition to our invested stakeholder groups,” Murkowski said. “The ultimate success of the plan will depend largely on citizen participation in this process. Hunters are a primary stakeholder group and they will be actively involved, as will other interests, to ensure that decisions best serve the public.”
The deer plan advisory committee will include representatives from a wide array of interested groups as well as open, nonaffiliated seats. The committee is expected to begin work before the end of 2016 and meet monthly for the duration of the planning process.
“We’re currently working on the selection process and will announce in September how individuals can apply for committee membership,” Murkowski said.
Murkowski added that the planning process will include opportunities for citizen participation beyond the advisory committee, including public meetings, online comments and small group discussions. DNR staff will also be talking with participants about ways to stay involved and engaged in deer management even after the deer plan is implemented.
To stay informed about the deer management planning process, opportunities to get involved, and other deer-related topics, visit www.mndnr.gov/emailupdates and subscribe to the Deer Management email list.