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Bloomington mayor vetoes ordinance allowing sharpshooters to hunt deer in nature preserve

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BLOOMINGTON, Indiana — The mayor of Bloomington has vetoed an ordinance that would allow sharpshooters to thin the deer heard at a city nature preserve.

Mayor Mark Kruzan said he couldn't support the proposal and that he also opposed the start of deer hunts in Indiana's state parks while he was previously a state legislator.

"I simply see the problem created by the killing of animals as outweighing the problem being caused to plants," Kruzan said in a letter to the City Council. "That admittedly oversimplified position is based more on emotion than reason, but emotion is a critical component in characterizing the nature of a community."

The plan approved by the City Council in a 6-2 vote last week would have the parks department hire sharpshooters to hunt in the 1,200-acre Griffy Lake preserve on the city's north side. It doesn't permit the general public to shoot firearms at the preserve.

Supporters say research shows an overabundance of deer in the area is causing ecosystem damage. Several opponents told council members last week they considered the sharpshooter plan a "massacre."

Councilman Dave Rollo, who sponsored the hunting proposal, told The Herald-Times (http://bit.ly/QjLD99 ) he expects the council will vote next week on whether to override Kruzan's veto. Six votes would be needed for that step.

"(Kruzan) describes it as a matter of conscience, and I don't dispute that," Rollo said. "My conscience tells me something different."

This is the first time Kruzan, a Democrat, has vetoed a proposal from the City Council during his 10 years as mayor.

A city task force has been looking at ways to reduce the number of deer around Bloomington, which is in the midst of a heavily wooded area. Opponents have fought its proposal to allow hunting of the animals around the city, calling it inhumane and possibly dangerous to people and pets.


Information from: The Herald Times, http://www.heraldtimesonline.com

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