The past month saw the implementation of the first phase of a final initiative to cull fallow deer from SḰŦÁMEN (Sidney Island). This move will allow the original ecosystem to flourish for the first time since Europeans introduced the invasive species in the 1900’s.
If you would like to access the meat that was harvested, please contact your local band office.
This eradication of the fallow deer on SḰŦÁMEN is a last-resort response to the ongoing ecological devastation they’ve caused. The WLC also considered relocation of the deer, however, despite years of persistent investigation into how to best resolve the issue, no other option proved to be a feasible solution in the face of the massive damage caused. Though it is an unfortunate situation, the culling process was carried out in the most humane way possible.
The meat resulting from the cull was butchered and distributed to the Band Offices before Christmas.
Phase 2 of the deer culling will begin in winter of 2024 and the deer will be fully culled by spring 2025. There are plans to continuously plant native plants and shrubs and to remove invasive vegetation throughout the process, continuing into Spring of 2028.
While the elimination of the fallow deer is unfortunate in many ways, it is a necessary step towards restoring the ecosystem of SḰŦÁMEN and preserving W̱SÁNEĆ culture.