Monday, September 15, 2014
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Lincoln: City wonít get into nuisance varmint trapping

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[September 15, 2014]  LINCOLN - On Tuesday of last week at their workshop, the Lincoln City Council agreed that they will not become involved in the trapping and re-location of nuisance varmints in the city.

The decision came after discussions that took place at the September 2nd and 9th meetings.

On September 2nd, Lincoln resident Don Bauer addressed the council during the public participation session saying that in his neighborhood there is a growing population of skunks. He wondered if the city could help out with the trapping and relocation of the animals.

He told the council he lives in the Gillette Street area, and that there are a number of skunks running about, and at least one of his neighbors has been sprayed. Bauer said he felt like the city could help pay for the trapping, which is costly.

In the past, the reaction to wild animals running about the city has been mixed from the city perspective. Marty Neitzel recalled that there was a similar problem in the Mayfair, where she lives. The neighbors had come to her as the alderman and asked for help. In the end, however, the community worked together to get rid of the animals.

Neitzel recalled that in that case, Maple Ridge had been willing to help out with paying for a trapper as well as the community members. They all pitched in together, and hired a certified trapper, who in the end caught and relocated eight skunks.

Neitzel said the area in question now is in the vicinity of Precision Products on Limit Street, and some other businesses. She wondered if the community couldnít bind together and seek some help from those businesses and do away with the animals without the city getting involved.

Jonie Tibbs, on the other hand, recalled in 2007 there was a problem with groundhogs, and the city did take action then.

Jeff Hoinacki also remembered that the city did take action on the beaver problem a few years ago.

In that case, the beavers were obstructing a waterway. The city council authorized the city of Lincoln Police Department to use deadly force to dispose of the animals that were building dams on Brainardís Branch.

Police Chief Ken Greenslate expanded on the story saying they began by approaching the disposal of the beavers in that manner. However, the department was not successful in being able to destroy the animals and did in the end hire a trapper.

At the end of the discussion on the 2nd, Tom OíDonohue said this was a discussion that should be continued in a workshop session. He said either way, the city needed to establish a policy on what to do, then stick to the policy.

When the topic came up last week at the workshop, Mayor Keith Snyder shared that he had spent time during the week researching what other cities do for varmint control; by and large the answer was they donít get involved.

Snyder said he had also gone searching on the internet, and found some information on trapping and removal of wildlife from the University of Illinois Extension.

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Among other things, he had found that trappers are to be certified by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. In Logan County, there are three trappers with the proper certification. Those trappers are Boonerís Wildlife Control in Elkhart, John Utterback in Mount Pulaski, and Wood Wildlife Services in Lincoln.

The group continued to discuss what to do, and the consensus seemed to be that the city couldnít get involved in animal control. The issues came up that the city had no one on the payroll who could do the job, and hiring a certified trapper would cost several dollars.

Michelle Bauer said she had heard from constituents that one thing the city could do is provide more public information about controlling the animals. She noted the city has a facebook page as well as a website. She wondered if something could be posted to offer tips on how to deter the animals, and provide the names of those in the area who are licensed for trapping.

Tibbs offered up some tips from first-hand experience saying that motion lights help because the animals come out at night, and they donít like the light. She also noted that keeping trash in closed containers, as well as not leaving pet food outside overnight will help. She noted the primary goal of the animals is to find food. If the homeowner takes measures to assure the animals donít find anything, then the animals will move on to another place.

In the end, the council members agreed they should establish a policy of not becoming involved in the trapping of wildlife.

For those who need such services, local trappers are:

Boonerís Wildlife Control
Larry Goerge Wilham

John Utterback
Mount Pulaski

Wood Wildlife Service
Les Wood

Information from the University of Illinois regarding wildlife pests:

Living with Wildlife in Illinois

How to prevent problems with Wildlife

How to solve a problem with Wildlife at your home


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