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Lewes, Delaware
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February 24, 2006     Cape Gazette
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February 24, 2006
 

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20 - CAPE GAZETI - Friday, Feb. 24 - Monday, Feb. 27, 2006 By Rachel Swick informed of the rally. Booth said Cape Gazette staff the state has boosted deer control Sussex County farmers are fed up in its list of priorities in the up. They say trespassing deer are past three years, recognizing that ruining their livelihood and they growing deer populations are want the state to help out. becoming a problem for farmers. At a rally organized by Farmers The state conducted, infrared Against Infringement of Rights thermal scanning in Delaware this (FAIR) on Tuesday, Feb. 21, in past summer to determine where Georgetown, approximately 50 deer populations are located in farmers gathered to discuss the order to modify how we take deer deer population and the problems in the state, said Booth. deer cause. "I've always been open to pro- Attorney Thomas Neuberger of posals and information from Wilmington, who represented the farmers," said Booth. 'q'his past 26 members of FAIR, said the year we were up 30 percent in state has been wasting time on the deer takes, which was more than deer issue. He said the members Maryland. It becomes a property of FAIR control about 43,000 rights issue for farmers when they acres of farmland in Sussex want to start taking these deer dur- County and in the past three years ing the year." they have lost millions of dollars Neuberger cited a section of the as a result of trespassing deer that Delaware Constitution that states eat and trample young plants dur- "all people have by nature the ing the spring growing season, fights of acquiring and protect- Statewide, about 300 farmers ing tm)perty." have lost more than $18 million. Heal'So noted that many other "For the past three years, these states, including Pennsylvania, farms have repeatedly and unsuc- have already amended laws to cessfiflly sought assistance from allow farmers to kill deer out of your office," wrote Nenberger in a season without threat of prosecu- letter to Delaware Department of tion. Neuberger said if FAIR's Natural Resources and plans don't work, filing a lawsuit Environmental Control (DNREC) might be the next step. But, he Secretary John Hughes. said, he hopes it doesn't get that "But in every case, your office far. invariably responded by offering Until then, FAIR plans to find a deer control methods that have sponsor in the General Assembly proved ineffective and useless." to back a farmers' rights bill and Neuberger and the members of they requested a legal opinion FAIR demanded that DNREC from the Attorney General's office allow farmers to get permits from to remove the threat of prosecu- the state to destroy the deer. A let- tion for killing deer on their prop- ter was also sent to state Attorney erty outside of hunting season. General Carl Danberg asking that The group may also hire a lobby- farmers not be prosecuted for ist, said Neuberger. killing deer outside--of hunting In the past, farmers have written season. Phone calls seeking tom- to Hughes requesting more per- ment to Hughes and other mits for killing deer in the off-sea- DNREC officials were- not son, but many of these requests returned, were turned down, said Most of the attacks on the farm-Neuberger. ers' plants occur during the spring "Hughes has claimed that he growing season, which will soon cannot obey the law due to politi- be upon us, said Neuberger. cal concerns," said Neuberger. Spring is when farmers say they "Farmers face enough economic want the right to shoot deer on difficulty without the deer. If they their properties, go bankrupt and they must sell to But arming farmers during the developers, Sussex County will spring has its drawbacks as well, become more and more congest- said Rep. Joe Booth, R- ed. Development of the farmlands Georgetown, who said he was not also will threaten the rivers and COLOR CONSULTANTS INTERIOR & EXTERIOR RESIDENTIAL & COMMERCIAL DONALD A. PROL CSDE.DAI=~MC:HSI. OM (302) 947-9001 (302) 74S-8455 OFFICE CELL Rachel Swick photo Attorney Tom Neuberger speaks to a crowd of almost 50 farmers while surrounded by mem- bers of F~rmers Against Infringement of Rights (FAIR) at the Marvel Museum Tuesday, Feb. 21 in Georgetown. Neuberger, of Wilmington, represents Sussex County farmers who have lost millions of dollars to trespassing deer that destroy crops. At the farmers rally on Tuesday, Neuberger urged Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (I)NRF~) Secretary John Hughes to take a preactive approach in supporting the farmers' riots to destroy trespassing deer. marshes and all Delawareans will Booth appeared to agree that "I've seen some of the damage feel the loss." something must be done, but he caused by deer, and it is substan- Booth said he was disappointed said with better communication tial," he said. that legislators were not invited to among farmers and state officials, "And I understand that they the rally, a plan of action could be reached, watch their crops get decimated He said the state and his office "The deer population is a con- and they can't do anything about have tried to work with the farm cern not just for farmers, but for it until the season starts in bmeau and farm groups in the vehicles. It's a safety issue," said November. But they will end up past. Booth's office has always Booth. "I think we've tried to be needing our help if they start had an open door policy, and he responsive to complaints, but shooting deer in the growing sea- said he didn't understand why maybe it doesn't move as fast as son because of liability prob- FAIR members need a lobbyist, they would like. lems." 2006 SPRING SCHEDULE TEEN ETIQUEITE FOR TODAY Sat March 11, 2006 10 A.M. - 3 P.M. Boardwalk Plaza (Age 13-18) Itotel-Rehoboth, BE TEEN ETIQUZI EMPLOYMENT AND YOU DINING SKILLS FOR TEENS (Age 13-18) Sat March 18, 2006 10 A.bl. - 4 P.M. Boardwalk Plaza itotel-Rehoboth, DE DINING WITH CONFIDENCE LUNCHEON TUTORIAL SOCIAL ETIQUETTE BASICS BUSINESS SAVVY FOR PROFESSIONALS (Adult 21 +) Wed April 19, 2006 9 A.M. - 6 P.M. 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