Town deer again discussed at RS City Council meeting

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Photo of citizen Bill Wannacott from YouTube

Carly Eversole, [email protected]

Rock Springs, Wyoming – During the regular Rock Springs City Council meeting held in council chambers on November 1, a concerned citizen came forward during the presentations and proclamations portion of the meeting.

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Bill Wannacott, a 73-year resident of Rock Springs, voiced a request for the City Council to repeal ordinance 3-545a regarding feeding animals within city limits. Wannacott stated, “this ordinance has no value, it does nothing to solve the issue, it harms our wildlife….we don’t have the year-round habitat to feed our wildlife, so I think it’s good for the citizens to be able to help these deer through the winter. I personally have been taking care of deer for more than 7 years.” Further explaining to the council, Wannacott claims to have purchased four tons of corn to feed the deer annually and additionally provides water to them year-round, all at his own expense. Wannacott likened the situation to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, feeding Elk within their city to help those populations during lean times.

Mayor Tim Kaumo was among the first to respond, stating the ordinance only disallows the feeding of supplemental feed, citing a recent presentation by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and the potential toxicity and health problems supplemental feeding causes. Kaumo continued, “the ordinance does not prohibit the feeding of planting or naturally growing plants. So if you want to grow a garden or allow the deer to eat from your apple trees, that shouldn’t be a problem.”

After continued discussion, Wannacott said he was unaware of the ordinance until he received a warning on his door regarding feeding the deer. He was also voicing his frustration with the council not educating the public on the implementation of this ordinance and listening to the side of only the citizens with complaints of the deer in town.

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Councilman West rebutted that “ordinances have to go through three readings before they are passed. Our job is not to do the Game and Fish’s job and manage the deer, but our job is to keep the community safe. These ordinances were drafted with public safety in mind and information provided by Wyoming Game and Fish.”

After a heated discussion between Wannacott and various council members, Mayor Kaumo opened up the opportunity for the council to make a motion to repeal the ordinance in question, to which the council remained steadfast in upholding the ordinance.

The discussion was concluded with Wannacott saying, “Thank you for the opportunity because now my conscious is cleared, I have done everything I can to promote something I love, and it’s on you now. It’s not on me. So I hope you can live with this decision. I gave you an opportunity to be informed from a different perspective.”

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