Originally Published: May 3, 2016 6:02 a.m.
Today is the day the Prescott City Council may put to rest the issue of feeding wildlife. Their 5:30 voting session includes possible action on it.
The ordinance would ban the feeding of wildlife in the City of Prescott, making it illegal “to intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly feed wildlife or to attract wildlife.”
While the discussion began last fall and has included pleas – seeking exceptions – about bird feeders and animals that are not a threat, I continue to see comments and hear from people who are wary of the potential law.
Most say this is too much regulation or it’s Big Brother sticking its nose where it does not belong. They also have said it is so broad anyone could be in violation.
The spark to this controversy began with a resident telling the council about a herd of javelina attacking and injuring his dog.
Over the years I also have heard about people who bragged about feeding javelina, because they love seeing the babies.
Folks, this is simple: you know when you’re doing something you should not (thus, the “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly feed wildlife or to attract wildlife.”).
Wild animals are supposed to be just that – wild. When you feed them or even put out a salt block to attract them (because they’re fun to watch), you’re messing with Mother Nature.
In fact, attracting one type of critter can lead to others (bigger ones of varying types) coming around. That’s because you’ve moved the food the bigger animals are seeking.
Rest assured, some of these things will happen anyway – we do live in and/or near forested areas. I recall a bear from the Granite Mountain area that made its way to the north part of Prescott Valley years ago. It happens, and that one was not baited (it also was successfully relocated).
Still, putting something – anything – out to attract wildlife that can be a threat to people or our pets is like speeding in your car. You know what’s right and wrong … you also know when you’re speeding.
My wish is only that similar laws would be adopted by other local towns and the county.