Fargo City Commission
United States of America

The Wildlife Management Program (WMP) was started 15 years ago and has proved to be ineffective. In the meantime the Fargo Park District has added many amenities and miles of improved trails to the Nature Parks that are now heavily used. Hunting in the Nature Parks while they are occupied by the public has become a serious safety concern and has many park goers feeling unsafe while enjoying the Nature Parks. In June the Fargo Chief of Police came to the Fargo City Commission and suggested repealing the City ordinance governing the WMP, which had allowed City-managed bow-hunts in Fargo Park District parks since 2006, citing: 1) safety issues due to the increase of the city's population and resident's use of the parks, 2) the costs, and 3) the low number of deer culled/killed each year. The North Dakota Fish and Game Department claims the program is ineffective at controlling the deer population in the F-M Red River corridor. A public hearing was conducted on June 22, 2021 at which the public was invited to voice their comments. All comments in support of continuation of the WMP came from bow hunter participants of the program. One of the WMP bow hunters suggested that the City should conduct a study of the program. The City Commission granted him his request, with the added favor of placing him on the study panel,though he described himself as a "tech guy." The Fargo Police had one meeting of the study panel, on August 9, at which the public was prohibited from commenting or asking the panel any questions. When the panel discussed the issue of public safety, the bow hunter participants mostly focused on safety to bow hunters, not the safety of park users. The Chief of Police is set to release the study panel report to the City Commission and public on October 18, the likely date on which the City Commission will then vote to decide whether the program will continue or not. This will give the public no time to examine the study findings and make public comment to the City Commission. A few of us Fargo residents who are concerned about these deadly weapons being used in Fargo parks, some heavily used by park users, while park users are in the parks, will present this petition to the Fargo City Commission, the Fargo Park District, and the Fargo Police Department prior to the City Commission voting on the continuation of these current arrangements.

[Please: only Fargo citizens and/or Fargo park users]

Our parks and trails are popular for walking, biking, bird and wildlife watching, snowshoeing, skiing, and other activities. We believe the risk to park users due to hunting is too high. The discharge of deadly weapons when park users are enjoying the parks and may be be downrange of hunters is unacceptable. "Any bow and arrow' is classified as "a dangerous weapon" in the City of Fargo Code of Ordinances. North Dakota Hunting regulations specify hunting arrows "must be at least 24 inches long, tipped with a metal broadhead, with at least two sharp cutting edges, and have a cutting diameter of at least 3/4 inch." Arrows lost in the grass are a hazard to children, walkers, bikers and pets. Please don't wait for an "accident" to happen.

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The Help ban the discharge of deadly weapons in public occupied Fargo parks before an accident occurs petition to Fargo City Commission was written by Christopher Coen and is in the category Miscellaneous at GoPetition.