The Livermore/Pleasanton Chapter of the Mule Deer Foundation (MDF), has been working to “Conserve and Protect” California deer and their habitat since 1993. During that time we’ve raised funds in support many projects that enhanced habitat, supported California’s Department of Fish and Game (CDFG), reduced deer deaths on highways, educated youth, supported hunting programs and firearms safety – to name a few.
In recent years, MDF has worked with the California Outdoor Heritage Alliance (COHA) and a coalition of various conservation organizations to support programs within CDFG during these times of change. In addition, legislative efforts, coordinated by COHA, have created a new environment where our voice as outdoorsmen and women is louder than ever.
Hunters purchased 175,000 deer tags last year with a harvest about 30,000 California deer in 2011. About twice that many deer were likely hit by cars on California highways. We do not know how many deer were killed as depredation for agricultural crop losses. We can only imagine how many deer were killed by poachers. Sale of 175,000 deer tags raised several million dollars to support California wildlife programs. MDF and other conservation organizations, like COHA, led the fight to pass legislative reform requiring public oversite over these user fees. Deer killed by cars, depredation, poachers and mountain lions raised no money for wildlife.
But, automobiles, hunters, poachers and farmers are not a serious threat to the long-term health of California deer herds. Despite the fact that mountain lions prey heavily on deer they too are not a huge threat to the viability of healthy deer herds.
During California’s lengthy run of economic success, industrial prosperity, population growth, agricultural expansion and residential construction, deer have declined. Deer habitat is disappearing and that loss of habitat is the biggest problem facing deer and other wildlife.
Hunter or not, many people appreciate deer as one of the remaining large mammals that live in our open spaces both nearby our cities and in the remaining wild places of California. The Livermore-Pleasanton Chapter of MDF is asking you to support our efforts to keep deer relevant.
It is concerned citizens that will make the difference for deer in the long haul. We are making it our business to stay involved with our wildlife managers to track deer numbers, better evaluate population changes, improve habitat and educate the public about how important deer are to our culture and outdoor experience. Please help MDF accomplish its mission.
Headquartered in Salt Lake City Utah, the Mule Deer Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization with 2,500 California members, 11 California chapters and over 13,000 total members. Donations are tax deductible. Membership is $35 per year and entitles members to attend MDF functions and receive “MDF,” its offical magazine, each year.
Bob Holm and I are co-chairs of the Livermore-Pleasanton Chapter of MDF. We are very interested in helping you help deer. Contact information follows. We would like to expand our committee, find merchandise donors, new members and people who want to support our efforts. We have no magic, but we do have an organization, a good mission and cooperation from people who can get things done.
Rich Fletcher (925)989-4372 firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Holm (925)447-2044 email@example.com