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Ask the Chief: Follow city rules when feeding wildlife

Red Wing Police Chief Roger Pohlman

"Ask The Chief" allows readers access to useful information about law enforcement issues in Red Wing. This communication tool has been developed to enhance community policing efforts by providing residents and visitors with the opportunity to ask questions about local laws, programs and the department in general.

Submit your question to askthe.policechief@ci.red-wing.mn.us.

Q: Is there anything you can do about a neighbor that continues to put out corn cobs and loose corn all over her front yard? The squirrels carry the cobs throughout the neighborhood, leaving us to pick them all up. Also, they bury kernels all over the yard and mulch and we have to dig them up as they sprout throughout.

A: Great question, many of our residents like to observe and feed wildlife in our area, however due to some "unintended consequences" there are some guidelines established in the City Code concerning the feeding of wildlife. Red Wing City Code, Section 10.08, Deer Feeding provides restrictions on the placement of grain/food that would also attract deer.

Subdivision 2, E: The intent of the City Council is not to unreasonably infringe upon the recreational enjoyment of City residents who observe wildlife and enhance wildlife habitat on their property. However, the purpose of this artificial feeding ban is to eliminate these deer attractions which, when combined with other management strategies, should reduce, over time, the depredation impacts to adjacent residents, as well as assure the safety of the traveling public on City streets and thoroughfares.

Subdivision 3: Prohibition. It shall be unlawful for any person or group to place or permit to be placed on the ground, or within five feet of the ground surface, either on property owned or controlled by such person or on property owned by others, any grain, fodder, fruit, vegetables, nuts, hay or other edible materials, which may reasonably be expected to intentionally result in deer feeding, unless such items are screened or protected in a manner that prevents deer from feeding on them. Also prohibited are salt licks and powder or liquid deer attractants, unless legally used for deer management control purposes. Living fruit trees and other live vegetation shall not be considered as deer feeding.

This code also requires bird feeders to be more than five feet from the ground, unless screened or protected to prevent deer from feeding on them. Violation of this section is a petty misdemeanor with the first offense receiving a written warning, and all subsequent offenses will receive a citation and applicable fine.

If you witness a violation of this ordinance, please contact dispatch at the non-emergency number, 651-385-3155.

Reference:

City of Red Wing Code, Chapter 10, Public Protection, Section 10.08, Deer Feeding.

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