The Oldman Rose Society of Southern Alberta has put up chicken wire to protect its rose bushes. | Photo by Dave Lueneberg, Shootin’ the BreezeDave Lueneberg, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

It’s not a new problem, but it’s one the Oldman Rose Society of Southern Alberta hopes the Town Of Pincher Creek will address — deer.

The group, appearing at Monday’s town council meeting, said it’s been forced to fence its entire rose garden next to Lebel Mansion, to protect its blooms and bushes from what it calls deer predation.

“At considerable expense, both monetary and our volunteer labour, we have tried various methods to control the deer,” said spokeswoman Donna Cisar in a presentation to council. “Many different sprays, motion sensitive lights and lastly, draping chicken wire over the roses.”

As a stop-gap measure, the group has erected a fence made of 48-inch stucco wire, supported by rebar. Besides taking away from the beauty of the bushes, the chicken wire is unsightly and makes it very difficult to weed and prune, Cisar said.

She noted that one of the Communities in Bloom judges who had visited the Rose Garden twice in the past pointed out a drop in rose blooms from his previous visit.

With limited funds in its bank account, the rose society is asking the town to consider putting up a barrier or help it obtain grant funding. One suggestion made Monday night was a wrought-iron fence similar to the one on the west side of the Lebel property. It likely wouldn’t be high enough.

“As long as the deer population in town is unchecked, the rose garden needs to be fenced,” added Cisar, in her submission.

While understanding the problem the deer are causing, Coun. David Green pointed out the town isn’t responsible for deer eradication.

It is, however, aware of the sharp rise in deer population. A survey carried out in 2018 showed between 30 and 40 deer foraging through the community. That number, Coun. Wayne Oliver said, has ballooned to nearly 100 in just five years.

Council has asked its staff to come back with an idea of what a new permanent fence might cost and look like at its next regular council meeting, Dec. 11.

By Dave Lueneberg, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Nov 30, 2023 at 11:07

This item reprinted with permission from   Shootin' the Breeze   Pincher Creek, Alberta

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