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There are some things that will always be news, and there are others that, well, it depends.
Several years ago, when the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, area metroparks and communities decided to use sharpshooters and allow hunting to reduce the regional deer herd's numbers, it was pretty big news. A lot of people were upset that no less violent means could be found for their control. The problem was something needed to be done, as the deer were destroying the forest and becoming an increasing danger to traffic.
This season, I decided to check and see how the programs were doing. Though I'm not a hunter, I like the outdoors and stories about the outdoors.
While many officials were comfortable discussing this year's cull with me, a Summit Metro Parks representative refused to talk about it on the phone, stating the program is now a fact of life and that the park district won't be interviewed on the subject.
He even accused the news media of misquoting officials on previous articles about deer management. Sad!
Nonetheless, I considered his point: If something happens all the time, is it news?
For example, back when cell phone networks were being built in the 1990s, entire neighborhoods were opposed to towers on their neighbors' properties. Zoning variance were argued, as local codes often did not provide for such structures, but eventually, the towers came to be accepted as a fact of life. They even became money makers for some local governments, which were offered lease agreements and space for municipal antennas in exchange for hosting towers on public land.
Today, though new tower construction is rare, they are not generally objects of controversy.
If nobody seems to care, is it news?
The return of black bears to the area made for some interesting stories a few years back. Now, the bears have either become much better at hiding, or people are much less alarmed by them.
Likewise with coyotes. Last year, it seems coyotes suddenly flooded the region. We'll see if they are as newsworthy in 2017.
And again this year in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Cleveland Metroparks and Summit Metro Parks sharpshooters are going about the process of reducing the area's deer population, as they have for several years.
Lacking any evidence to the contrary, I would have to agree that the annual cull is indeed a fact of life throughout the region. Areas where hunting is taking place are marked and patrolled to prevent visitors from straying into danger. Hunting is being done away from trails, from special platforms by trained sharpshooters. They'll be at it until mid March.
Bow hunting was also allowed by permit in many area communities on select tracts of land. It ended on Feb. 5, when the state bow hunting season ended.
In Macedonia, I'm told that hunters generally get at least one deer, though not all are successful. Officer Richard Rizzo, who manages the program, says the dozen-or-so permit holders have to report their success to the department as a condition of their permits.
If you're interested, I'm posting all the information I could find about this year's deer cull on my Facebook page, www.facebook.com/EricMarottaRPC.
To his credit, the Summit Metro Parks official who refused to be interviewed did send me the statistics I had requested.
I'm posting the information because even though its news value is debatable, I'm sure it is a matter of interest to some.
If you're a hunter, feel free to post your photos of deer when you check in.
If you're opposed to hunting, you're welcome to post photos as well.
Let's see if it's a dead issue.
Eric Marotta: 330-541-9433