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Minutes of Fairfield County Deer Alliance, 09/14/2015

AGENDA: Fairfield County Deer Alliance

RECEIVED 09/17/2015 6:16pm
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk


Meeting was called to order at 10:35 by Russ Cornelius.   In attendance were:   Russ Cornelius (Brookfield), David McConnaughey (New Canaan), Thomas Lombardo (Stamford), Mike Conklin (Wilton), Tom and Laurie McGrath (Darien). No visitors were present.

First noted was the opening of the 2015-2016 hunting season on September 15th. The state law passed in the last legislative session, allows Sunday bow hunting on private property. This law takes effect on October 1st of this year. This adds about 12 days of hunting to the season.

Russ presented an historical overview of the Deer Alliance.   Since our genesis, we have mainly focused on the only controllable aspect of Lyme disease which is to control deer. We have seen many small successful steps in our efforts to get the message out to the public and to promote control of the deer herds. In spite of this, in Russ’s opinion, we currently have more deer, more ticks, more Lyme disease, and more co-infections than existed when the alliance began. Lack of political will is the principal reason for this.

As we continue to meet this challenge, one possible way to ramp up our efforts would be to align ourselves with the Housatonic Valley Council of Elected Officials (HVCEO) – now called the Western Connecticut Council of Governments (WCCG). In 2014 the HVCEO region was combined with the South Western Regional Planning Agency (SWRPA). The merger created WCCG which now serves 18 communities. Russ has been active with the Tick Borne Illness Prevention Task Force arm of HVCEO which was created in 2009.   This committee maintains an informative website concerning Lyme disease and has a well-developed educational program available to all schools as well as the state-supported BLAST personal protection program for the prevention of tick borne diseases.

Even without a formal alliance, Russ encouraged all present to use the Tick Borne Task force to promote an educational program in our various communities.   Anyone wishing to do so needs to secure a short appointment with their Superintendent of Schools for Russ to explain this program and its value. Educational material was created originally for the Greenwich public schools in conjunction with Time for Lyme (now known as the Lyme Research Alliance). The educational material would fit into the Health and Safety curriculum for K, 3, 6 and 9th grades.

See: for details. The cost for this program is minimal and would be covered by donations.

Further discussion about the FCMDMA and HVCEO/WCCG is warranted, although all present felt that a partnership with HVCEO/WCCG could have some real value in promoting our goals.

Brief comments were shared by all present. Of note was that Pat Sesto is no longer with the Alliance due to a new job in Greenwich. Her very able replacement, Mike Conklin, has suggested he will try to bring Wilton’s new Health Director on board.

Meeting was adjourned at 12:00.

Submitted by Laurie McGrath