Consider these numbers:
Michigan averages almost 50,000 car-deer crashes every year, including over 1,200 injuries and 14 deaths. This makes deer the most dangerous animal in the state, and the most significant road hazard after drunk driving.
Deer cause millions of dollars in crop damage every year in Michigan, making deer the most expensive farm pest in the state. Some crops can lose up to 10 percent to deer annually.
In the winter, deer eat many forest species in damaging amounts. As a result, Michigan is no longer regenerating major components of our forests in any meaningful amount, including cedar, hemlock and Canada Yew, not to mention many herbaceous species.
How does the Michigan DNR, the agency charged with managing wildlife in the state, respond to this major loss of property and life which result from high deer numbers?
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Marvin Roberson is a forest ecologist for the Sierra Club, Michigan’s largest and oldest grassroots environmental organization. He lives in the U.P.