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EDITORIAL: New ordinance not heeded by some

This year's snow bonanza is forcing the area's deer population to look for alternate food sources.

As a result, more deer are hanging around New Richmond in search of regular food. That's fun for some people, who like seeing wildlife around the community. It's not such a good thing for people with evergreen trees and shrubs.

This winter, a number of homeowners are complaining about the deer and their grazing habits in their neighborhoods. Many shrubs and trees are being stripped bare - at least up to about six feet in height where the deer can reach.

To make matters worse, some local residents appear to be continuing their practice of feeding deer, even though the city recently approved a new ordinance prohibiting such practices.

By putting out feed especially for deer, the whitetails find a regular source of sustenance and they tend to stick around. City officials don't want to encourage the deer to stay because of the collateral damage they cause.

As a reminder to all, deer feeding is no longer allowed in New Richmond. Violating the new ordinance could mean a fine.

The ordinance does not allow residents to place any grain, fruit or vegetable material outdoors for the purpose of feeding whitetails. The ordinance does not stop people from feeding birds in bird feeders, but it does prohibit large quantities of feed (greater than one-half gallon) to be placed in drop feeders, automatic feeders or other devices made for deer use. If more vthan a half gallon of feed is placed in a feeder, those feeders need to be at least six feet off the ground. Feed cannot be left on the ground either.

If you are unaware of the ordinance change, it's time to become informed. If the deer problems within the city limits aren't lessened, the community's leaders may have to resort to more significant steps to thin the growing local herd. By stopping the purposeful feeding of deer, the herd will hopefully move on to find other food sources outside the city.