From the first moment the River Forest Village Board began considering hiring or contracting sharpshooters to cull a growing and roaming deer population it was an idea bound to lead to sharp opinions.

The village board has now, in the face of determined disagreement, decided to step back. A citizen-driven task force will soon be formed with both proponents and opponents charged with sorting out solutions. No timeline has yet been announced. Ground rules still uncertain.

A prudent cop-out? We will see.

Everyone agrees the deer population ranging out of Thatcher Woods and into the residential neighborhoods is on a steep rise. Too many deer? A rising Desplaines River drowning a natural habitat? Points to be argued. A natural outcome of living adjacent to a forest, even part of the “charm” of the neighborhood? Some make that case. Residents tired of having lovely and costly gardens devoured and trampled? A direct health hazard with reports of Lyme disease being spread? Also arguments being made.

This was a topic too hot for the village board to just decide. We’ll find out if a task force of divided citizens can reach a consensus.

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