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Deer migration: Glenshire group looking to fund study

TRUCKEE — A local group in Glenshire is trying to raise funds to study a deer herd that ranges between Martis Valley and Verdi.

SOS Glenshire needs a total of about $65,000 to aid the California Department of Fish in Game in a study of the Verdi sub-unit of the Loyalton-Truckee deer herd, tracking them via tracking collars.

“This is a vital study that hasn’t been done in 25 years,” said Lori Kelly of SOS Glenshire.



The group’s interest started with concern over the previously-proposed Canyon Springs development east of Glenshire, but has evolved into responsible land use and the effect of development on wildlife, especially this herd, up and down its migration corridor.

“Its become very important to us, this deer herd,” Kelly said.



Fish and Game Biologist Sara Holm said the deer herd has decreased in number, and needs a corridor to travel between summer grounds in the Martis Valley and winter grounds in Verdi, which could be threatened by development.

“These deer have to move to survive, they can’t make it in Truckee in the winter,” Holm said.

The study, Holm said, involves collaring about 20 deer, getting GPS way-points back from them as they migrate.

Biologists either use tranquilizer darts or net guns from helicopters to catch and collar the deer, then use a remote trigger to release the collar and collect it in the field when done, Holm said.

A study on the heard hasn’t been updated since 1982, she said.

“I’ve been trying to do this sub-unit for at least four years,” Holm said.

SOS Glenshire has approached property owners along the corridor to help fund the study, and have received a grant from the Martis Fund for more than $40,000.

“This is starting to get the ball rolling. We are engaging a lot of sources and getting a lot of people aware,” said Leigh Golden, president of SOS Glenshire.

SOS Glenshire recently approached the Truckee Tahoe Airport District Board, asking for about $24,000 because the airport owns Waddle Ranch, the open space the heard likely fawns.

Holm said that the information could be valuable to the airport as the caretakers of Waddle Ranch, and for gathering information about deer getting on the runways.

The board ended up deferring the decision, looking for a more solid connection between the airport and the study.

“This is remarkably difficult. I have a real hard time getting to a nexus (between the study and airport operations), but personally I want to see this done,” said board member Kathleen Eagan.

To learn more or to find out how to get involved, go to http://www.sosglenshire.org.


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