REDDING - State wildlife officials are defending a plan underway to reduce the number of deer in the area.
The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection says their goal is to reduce the number of ticks. They approved a plan put forth by the State Agricultural Experimental Station. They say they are conducting a study that looks at differing methods to control ticks, which are transmitters of lyme disease.
One of the methods is to reduce local populations of deer by using sharp-shooters.
On Thursday, people who disapproved of the plan gathered at a public forum held by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection at Putnam Park in Redding.
The State Agricultural Experimental Station, which is in charge of the study, says the town had an excessively high deer population of 67 deer per square mile. The town's own deer management program got that down to about 30 deer per square mile. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection says more needed to be done.
Researchers say it's a temporary experiment that focuses on only a two-square mile section of town, and there are four different experiment sites.
Officials say this is a three-year study and they expect a new survey and deer population count in coming months.