[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Bridgewater as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 11-15-1999 by Ord. No. 99-20]
This article may be cited as the "Deer Control Ordinance of the Township of Bridgewater."
The Mayor and Council of the Township of Bridgewater find that there exists an unchecked increase in the population of deer within the Township and that the unchecked population of deer often results in excessive damage to property and an increase in the frequency of motor vehicle accidents, and there exists potential for increased incidence of Lyme disease and personal injury from deer/vehicle collisions. Therefore, it is in the best interests of the people of Bridgewater to adopt measures targeted at controlling the deer population of the Township through safe and effective means.
There is hereby established within the Office of the Mayor and Administration a system for the control and management of the deer population via:
Research. A program of monitoring and participation in experimental procedures for the nonlethal control of deer population, and the control of propagation and movement by the use of chemicals, drugs and mechanical devices.
Hunting. Use of controlled hunting on Township and other public land.
Government cooperation. Cooperation among counties and municipalities for a regional approach to deer herd management.
Wildlife Management Oversight Advisory Committee. The Mayor, with the advice and consent of the Council, shall appoint for staggered three-year terms, so that 1/3 would expire each year, the members of the Wildlife Management Oversight Advisory Committee, composed of not more than nine persons, who volunteer to serve on the Committee without compensation. All members of the Wildlife Management Oversight Advisory Committee shall be residents of Bridgewater Township. The Wildlife Management Oversight Advisory Committee shall meet at least quarterly and shall report to the Mayor and the Township Council at regular Council meetings regarding deer management in the Township and deer management techniques including hunting. The Committee shall serve at the will and pleasure of the Council.
Agreement with the state. The Mayor, with the assistance of the Health Department, Police Department, Township Planner and Township Attorney, is hereby authorized to negotiate and execute a memorandum of understanding with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife, and the Fish and Game Council, for the issuance of a special deer management permit to reduce the deer population in Bridgewater Township, pursuant to the Community Based Deer Management Plan, which will provide for hunting in public land areas, all as provided within this article, and with such modifications as may be required by state law and regulation, and with such changes in the bag limits and seasons for hunting as may be allowed by the state. In the event of any inconsistency between such agreement with the State and the provisions of this article, the Mayor shall advise the Council on such amendments to this article as may be necessary to resolve or eliminate such inconsistency.
Public lands. Subject to the conditions herein specified and to the provisions of a memorandum of understanding with the State of New Jersey as hereafter provided, hunting by the use of firearms is hereby permitted on specifically designated Township-owned land and such lands owned by the County of Somerset or the State of New Jersey with appropriate authorization from those governments.
[Amended 6-18-2001 by Ord. No. 01-21]
Annual budgeting. Upon adoption of this article, and annually thereafter, the Mayor, with the appropriate members of the administrative staff, shall develop a budget of costs and expenses associated with the implementation of this article and memorandum of understanding as authorized by this article. The Mayor shall report thereon to the Council along with recommendations for modifications to achieve savings in costs and expenses along with recommendations for funding resources and proposed appropriations.
Committee responsibilities. The Wildlife Management Oversight Advisory Committee shall have responsibility to:
Make policy recommendations to the Mayor and Council for the management of wild animals, including deer.
Coordinate with other municipal and county activities undertaken to control wild animals.
Review and make recommendations regarding the use of hunting within the Township, specifically on Township, county and state owned lands.
Monitoring. The Wildlife Management Oversight Advisory Committee shall monitor programs involving research and development in the management of deer herds through nonlethal methods of deer population control; controls for the prevention of property damage, personal injury and disease caused by or related to the presence of deer; the use of drugs and the use of electrical, chemical and mechanical devices for deer management, including but not limited to roadside reflectors; and shall search out grants to finance participation by the Township in such programs as the Committee may recommend to the Mayor and Council.
The Wildlife Management Oversight Advisory Committee shall, upon adoption of this article, establish an initial estimate of the deer population in Bridgewater by any means reasonable and thereafter shall arrange for an annual survey, review and estimate of the deer population to determine the effectiveness of the efforts undertaken to control the population and to reduce the damage caused by deer. The Committee shall recommend what additional actions, if any, should be taken to control the deer population and to reduce the damage caused by deer.