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OpinionLetters

Letters: Debating deer kill to reduce LI herd

It was appalling to learn that a tentative plan is in place to kill thousands of deer across Brookhaven and the East End using trained snipers ["The deer kill is a sad necessity," Editorial, Dec. 12].

Another proposal, which would allow bow hunters to come within 150 feet to private residences rather than the current 500-foot regulation, is extremely dangerous and perhaps deadly.

Rather than create an inhumane agenda to deal with the growing deer population, why were methods not in place all along to inhibit the expansion of this docile species across Eastern Long Island? The management of deer populations using birth control vaccines has been successful in national parks for years, when the deer population is still small enough that this method can be effective. Instead, we choose to have hunters in trees in the dark targeting innocent animals. Rather than tout this plan, we should be ashamed to even present it.

Jason E. Hill, Ridge

As a professional ecologist, I have seen how too many hungry deer devour forest saplings, shrubs and wildflowers and eliminate habitats needed by songbirds and other wildlife. We are losing our forests.

Failure to reduce excessive deer herds would be inhumane. More deer would be hit by cars, forest wildlife would disappear, and people would suffer from increased infection from tick-borne diseases, as well as injury or death in deer-auto collisions.

People removed the natural predators of deer and replaced forest habitats with residential areas and farms. Now, only people can reduce deer herds and keep them at levels that will be in balance with their environment.

The use of trained and experienced sharpshooters is the most humane, safe and only option in densely populated areas.

Marilyn J. Jordan, Huntington Station

Campus homes don't fix root of problem

The motive of Suffolk County officials to build housing for young adults on local campuses is commendable: to help keep them on Long Island after they finish school. Unfortunately, the focus is on the wrong things ["At home on campus," News, Dec. 10].

Instead, we need to reduce costs for workers and businesses on Long Island. That's the real problem. Businesses are forced to pay higher salaries to employees because the cost of living is so high, mainly due to income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, commuting taxes, medical costs and more. Then government looks at our "high" salaries and says we aren't paying our fair share, and increases our taxes even more.

Businesses are then compelled to reduce their labor forces here, or even relocate to compete in a global economy. This results in even fewer good jobs in the private sector, leaving a disproportionately higher number of lower-paying service jobs, and employment by government agencies, school districts and other public entities. These rely on taxes to pay the bills. It's a downward spiral.

Proposing multifamily, on-campus housing for young adults is a nice gesture, but it hardly addresses the root of this epic problem.

Joe Licari, St. James

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