After hearing objections from Clifton residents, in October of 2014 the Cincinnati Park Board of Commissioners agreed to suspend the Parks’ plan to initiate bow-hunting in Mt. Storm Park, Rawson Woods and Edgewood Preserve, and to engage in a collaboration with Clifton residents to explore development of a pilot non-lethal alternative program to control deer population in these three parks. Park Board Director Willie Carden appointed Superintendent Jim Burkhardt as the Park Board’s liaison with the Clifton community with respect to the collaboration.
The criteria offered to guide the collaboration were developed with Superintendent Burkhardt, as follows: The non-lethal pilot program selected should be the one with the greatest likelihood of being (a) affordable (funded or fundable); (b) approved by ODNR; and (c) successful in stabilizing and reducing the deer population in the Clifton Parks to eco-sustainable levels. Additionally, the Park Board requested that any plan address the following elements:
- A step by step process, including staffing and reporting procedures
- Peer reviewed research support
- A budget with documented funding resources
- All required federal, state, county, and city permits
- Documentable results
After months of work, residents proposed two options, a contraception proposal and a sterilization program. The Clifton Town Meeting was asked to review all options and recommend one for the Parks to submit to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for a research study permit. On February 2, 2015, the CTM Trustees met and heard presentations from both groups. They then voted to pass both proposals to the Parks with a preference for the sterilization program.
On February 19, 2015, the Cincinnati Board of Park Commissioners approved the sterilization program, clearing the way for the submission of a research study permit application to be filed with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife issued a permit authorizing Dr. DeNicola and White Buffalo to proceed with the research proposal on May 11, 2015. The duration of the initial permit is for a 3 year period. A renewal permit is expected to be sought in 2018.