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February 7, 2014

‘Pops, Patriots and Fireworks’

Pound Ridge/Scotts Corners

  1. Scotts Corner Market – Trinity Corners Shopping Center;  55 Westchester Avenue

  2. Pound Ridge Sunoco — 66 Westchester Avenue    

  3. Sam Parker Country Market — 257 Westchester Avenue    


Bedford Village

  1. Bedford Rexall Pharmacy — Hunting Ridge Mall; 424 Old Post Road  

  2. Village Green Deli — Village Green; Routes 22 and 172    

  3. Bedford Shell — Routes 22 and 172 (at blinking light); 848 So. Bedford Road

  4. Village Service Center —193 Pound Ridge Road (at Long Ridge Road intersection)    


Bedford Hills

  1. Bedford Hills Deli – 7 Babbitt Road    

  2. Bueti’s Deli – 526 Bedford Road (Route 117)


Katonah

  1. NoKA Joe’s – 25 Katonah Avenue    

  2. Steger’s Paper Mill – 89 Katonah Avenue    

  3. Katonah Pharmacy – Katonah Shopping Center; 294 Katonah Avenue   

  4. Bagel Shoppe – Katonah Shopping Center; 280 Katonah Avenue    

  5. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road


Mount Kisco

  1. Teamo/Mt. Kisco News – 239 Main Street    


Cross River

  1. Bagel Boys Café – Cross River Shopping Center; Routes 121 and 35    

  2. Cross River Shell Station – Route 35    

  3. Cameron’s Deli –  890 Route 35    

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Officials to scrutinize deer management results


By DON HEPPNER

The deer season for bowhunters ended in Westchester on Dec. 31. Now officials are seeking to determine whether deer management programs should continue in 2014. Members of the county, Pound Ridge and Mianus River Gorge deer management committees are teaming up to share data that will analyze the successes and failures of the program to date, including the number of deer taken by hunters, impacts on the plant growth in forests, water quality and the impact on other wildlife, such as nesting birds and amphibians.

In the town of Pound Ridge, 54 deer were culled from the population, including 40 does and 14 bucks. “That’s down a little bit from last year, but the numbers are still good,” said councilman Jon Powers, who oversees the deer management program with Police Chief Dave Ryan.

A change in officials could lead to the town’s withdrawal from the program. Last year’s town board voted to continue the program in a 3-to-2 vote. Deputy supervisor Jon Powers and town supervisor Dick Lyman are both committed to the plan. Last year, councilwoman Ali Boak and councilman Dan Paschkes voted against it. Bonnie Schwartz, newly elected to the council, has yet to announce her position on the deer management program, and her vote could tip the balance.

Hunters took 31 deer in the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in 2013. That number includes 10 males and 21 females.

“We do not have plans to add additional hunters to the program,” said Chief Ryan.

Mr. Powers said he is aware of pressure by some residents to count the number of deer in the area to get a baseline number that would allow the deer management committee to better evaluate the effectiveness of the program.

Mr. Powers said the town thought about hiring a helicopter to fly over the town to count the number of deer using heat detecting equipment. The technology is accurate, but the helicopter is very expensive.

“We have explored other ways to count the deer,” Mr. Powers said. “We have talked to the DEC about other methods, but each seem to be flawed for one reason or another.”

Photographing the forest floor to record growth of native species has been one method suggested for judging the efficacy of the program.

According to Mr. Powers, Teatown Lake Reservation could become involved in the Pound Ridge program. The environmental organization is considering the use of sharpshooters and baiting to cull the herd, but the approach is meeting resistance among several members of the preserve.


A regional problem

“I think the thing that people need to realize is that there are a million interactions going on in the forest and there is no way we can address every particular problem for every imbalance in the forest, but we do our best to try pick and fix the ones that will have the greatest impact,” said Mianus River Gorge executive director Rod Christie. “Deer happen to have many negative impacts on many fronts.”

Mr. Christie said the deer adversely impact the wildlife in terms of plants and regeneration but they also impact ground-nesting birds, amphibian and reptile population as well as other animals.

“You can’t attempt to control the deer population and expect a silver bullet,” said Mr. Christie. “We are always looking for ways to solve problems and we need to be able to address other things as they come along as well.”

The negative impact of the deer herds on the forests and wildlife is recognized by the Pound Ridge Deer Management Program and Westchester County environmental officials.

The Westchester County deer management program was deemed a success by its director John Baker. “We were down a bit this year in culling the herd compared to last year,” he said “but we are pleased with the program, and I anticipate that we will continue the program in 2014.”

Mr. Christie is in favor of a deer management program. “Deer eat nearly all young trees and thus once older trees die, there will be few young trees to replace them,” read a Mianus River Gorge report. “The situation for wildflowers may be even more perilous as many species have been completely extirpated from the region.”

The Mianus Gorge completed the 11th year of its volunteer archery-driven deer management program.

“Our last year was a better year than our last two years,” Mr. Christie said. “We took more deer in the forest this past season because there was more food in the forest than in years past.”

He said he has noticed greater herbaceous and understory regrowth in the gorge. “Last spring we had a lot more wildflower species present than we have had in the past,” he said.

He said that every year he sees a greater variety of plants returning to the floor of preserve.

“We are getting the regeneration of certain woody species but that takes a lot longer than herbaceous growth,” said Mr. Christie.

Herbaceous growth still seems to be heavily impacted by the deer population, while many trees and shrubs — such as eastern hemlock, tuliptree and mapleleaf viburnum — are improving. In 2014, the gorge is scheduled to resurvey long-term vegetation plots and will be adding additional plots to more fully examine the state of the herbaceous community and soil conditions.

In 2004, when the gorge began its program, deer density estimates were at 33.0 deer per square mile, but are now at 24 per square mile.


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