May 29, 2024

Hahn Applauds Cancellation of Plans to Shoot Catalina Deer from Helicopters

Los Angeles, CA – Today, Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn is applauding an announcement by the Catalina Island Conservancy that they will cancel and rework plans to eradicate the island’s deer population by shooting them from helicopters, instead prioritizing other methodologies.

The Conservancy has argued that the mule deer pose a threat to the island’s ecosystem by overgrazing and destroying native plants and habitats. However, their plan to eliminate the estimated 1,770 deer on the island through aerial shooting garnered strong opposition, including from Hahn. Last month, Hahn led the Board of Supervisors in a unanimous vote to oppose the aerial shooting plan and asked the Conservancy to reconsider several alternative proposals they had previously dismissed– including relocating the deer, extending the deer hunting season to thin the herd, and sterilization.

This morning, at a special meeting of the Los Angeles County Fish and Wildlife Commission, Dr. Lauren Dennhardt, the Catalina Island Conservancy’s Senior Director of Conservation, announced the decision. She stated, “We have heard the concerns expressed by residents and by Supervisor Hahn, and per her request, we are working on revising our plan to prioritize other methodologies.” In a separate phone call, the Conservancy told Hahn’s office that they have taken the aerial shooting proposal off the table.

“I appreciate the Conservancy for listening to the serious concerns people had about this plan, especially from people living on the island,” said Supervisor Hahn. “I heard from residents who were terrified at the thought of bullets raining down from helicopters over their beloved island and others who couldn’t stand the thought of the deer carcasses that would be left in their wake. I am hopeful that the next plan that the Conservancy puts forward can earn more widespread support from residents and everyone who loves Catalina Island.”

Hahn has represented Catalina Island since being elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2016. Besides the small city of Avalon, the majority of Catalina Island—located about 22 miles off the coast—is unincorporated, and thus directly governed by the County of Los Angeles. The Conservancy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, manages 88% of the island’s 48,000 acres.

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