Saturday essay: Deer liabilities
The rut is in full force in Mt. Lebanon. The bucks are running the does in pursuit of a little hubba-hubba time. Residents, when they're not running into them (or over them), are running for cover.
And at nearly 57 deer per square mile in the South Hills community, encounters are the rule, not the exception, and daily (sometimes several times daily).
But it turns out that number, calculated several months ago through an infrared aerial survey, could be low. The estimate of another company, which is offering Mt. Lebanon officials advice on how to cull the herd — a remarkable development in and of itself — says the per-square-mile population could be as high as 80.
A current deer population of nearly 500 could, unchecked now and by one calculation, swell by nearly 240 when “fawndays” bow in the spring.
If you thought a population of 57 deer per square mile was not sustainable and dangerous — and it's already not and it already is in Mt. Lebanon — just imagine what things will be like when there are nearly 114 deer per square mile.
To its credit, Lebo officials appear to be at least entertaining a cull after years and years of hoof-dragging. But the longer they wait, the more deer will be born and, given the growing public safety threat, the greater exposure it will have to legal liabilities that even the most ardent deer-hugging taxpayer will find too steep.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Corbett & taxes: Cue the tap dance
- Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
- Greensburg Laurels & Lances
- Alle-Kiski Laurels & Lances
- Another carbon credit scheme
- Recasting the EPA: Devolving power to the states
- School funding canard: Money isn’t the answer
- Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances