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Steve Foss

Big city newsies don't understand nature

31 posts in this topic

This fresh from the AP.

WASHINGTON – Fatalities from vehicle crashes with deer and other animals have more than doubled over the last 15 years, according to a new study by an auto insurance-funded highway safety group that cites urban sprawl overlapping into deer habitat.

The report by the Highway Loss Data Institute found that 223 people died in animal-vehicle crashes last year, up from 150 in 2000 and 101 in 1993.

Urban sprawl CREATED deer habitat. Deer populations in the U.S. are so far higher than they were before massive human development that it's not even funny.

I'm not saying that's either good or bad, just another example of mainstream big city media that doesn't even know what it doesn't understand.

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I remember reading a report that logging and leaving younger trees really increases the amount of deer a certain amount of acreage can support. Old growth forest can't support as much of a deer population as a newer growth forest. Hence we have more deer in areas that are being logged off.

I also think the predator-prey relationships have changed. Deer are probably a little more comfortable living close to us than their predators are.

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Urban Sprawl reduced predators - increased food sources and decreased hunting opportunities.

Also, the Canada Goose population increased - all those nice parks and golf courses with no predators.

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I think the article probably misses a lot of the extra facts and oversimplifies things a bit, but I'm not sure I understand what is wrong with saying urban sprawl infringes on deer habitat. I've seen numerous examples where subdivisions are cut into valleys surrounded by woods that are prime habitat and the deer are already there. Obviously sometimes the deer come in after it develops, but I think the point is we spread into where the deer already are which surely happens. I'm confused as to what's wrong with the story???

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Probably just my own too-narrow interpretation of the language in the story. In re-reading, it's clear the words could be taken more than one way, and my way wasn't any better than anyone else's. frown

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I chuckled when I heard the story on the news this morning.

I don't see how they can assign more blame to one condition than another, of all the conditions that have benefitted deer.

I went to a $0 deductible on my comp insurance for my 1+ hour daily commute though. wink

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I think you're close Steve, but not exactly on it. Our huge Agricultural industry increased deer populations. Urban sprawl just increased sightings by people who otherwise wouldn't see deer.

I'm doing what I can to reduce their numbers.

Deer; that is..... grin

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A couple of contributing factors are, smaller more plastic cars and also that the number of accidents per million miles driven haven't increased significantly. We drive a lot more through habitat with cars that aren't built as well.

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I get what you are saying Stf and you are dead on. Yes we are sprawling into decent deer habitat, but turning it into prime deer habitat. Deer densities are considerably higher in suburban areas for a number of reasons, reduced predator abundance, yards filled with arbovitae, crab apple and other delicious shrubs, and no significant hunting to control densities. All of those things missed by writers typical shallow understanding of the issue and poor investigative skills.

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walleye, yes, that was exactly my thinking on it. And what you termed decent deer habitat we largely created ourselves. You just said it better than I did. smilesmile

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I think there are a lot of factors involved.

1.

Through the efforts of the DNR and other organizations, the deer population is higher now than at any time in recorded history.

2.

The number of highway miles has increased. This has a two-fold effect. First it present more opportunity for mishaps and second it reduces the available space for the deer population, which as stated above is higher and therefore this concentrate the deer more.

3.

The highway driving speed has increased in many areas even though not legally in all cases.

4.

The number of drivers on the roads has increased. Our human population has nearly doubled in the last 30 years so naturally there are more drivers on the roads.

5.

We drive many more miles than in past years. Compared to 30 years ago the average miles driven per vehicle has nearly doubled. This means that at any given moment there are 4x the opportunities for mishaps than 30 years ago. (2x the number of drivers times 2x the miles driven = 4x the opportunities)

6.

Deer are becoming less skiddish around people and our roadways resulting is more potential mishaps.

7.

This one is a guess on my part but I suspect that the number of hunters per capita is lower today than it was 30 years ago. We may have more total hunters out there participating in more multiple opportunities but not relative to the increase in our population or the increase in the population of the deer. Some of this may be offset by the more generous harvest limits though.

Bob

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walleye, yes, that was exactly my thinking on it. And what you termed decent deer habitat we largely created ourselves. You just said it better than I did. smilesmile

What bothers me is the shoddy reporting by the "newsies" you refer to. I see this all the time with outdoor related issues that I am familiar with, wolves, trapping, endangered species, etc. When you have some understanding of the issue it is very easy to see the flawed reporting, sometimes totally missing or misinterpreting the real points.

What is more disturbing is knowing that those same newsies are reporting other important issues that you and I are not as familiar with. I have no confidence that they are any more reliable on those topics.

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walleye, you are right on the money!

Twenty/thirty years ago, when newspaper staffs were larger and reporters were more specialized, there were a lot of reporters who were true experts in the beats they covered. This was particularly true in medium-sized to large dailies and the wire services like the Associated Press.

Since the overwhelming sellouts of individual newspapers to large, publicly traded newspaper corporations and the intense pressure to cut staff so the business becomes profitable enough to suit investors, these papers have fewer and fewer reporters.

That means, of course, that each reporter has more beats to cover and can't become knowledgeable in all of them. And it definitely shows in the coverage. Readers notice this. It's no surprise they lose confidence in the news report. It has become increasingly shallow and prone to errors if not of fact, then at least of context.

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How much of that can be attributed to a lack of professional integrity? I don't mean to demean the reporters but how many of them really seek the truth and accuracy in their efforts vs. the selling points for the story? I understand that they themselves may be under pressure from their publishers and editors to "get the story that sells" or "be the first to print the story even if the facts are questionable" rather than taking the time to assure they are reporting accurately. I honestly find myself questioning this more often than not, especially in recent decades.

Bob

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I agree. The tendency seems to be more of a "hurry up to get it in print" attitude than to make sure it's right. There are still some good reporters out there though, not only in the print media but on the airwaves as well. I get interviewed or asked for material about once a week it seems and I always appreciate it when someone calls back or shoots me an e-mail of their copy to make sure what I meant is what was quoted. Especially when I'm on the spot for a 20 - 30 second impromptu radio sound bite, it's really easy to say something where concise words are not at my command at that given moment, making me sound even dumber than I really am. grin

There's no question, especially here in the southern part of the state, the creation of habitat for deer has been nothing short of phenomenal. Our change to a row crop system and folks moving out away from the cities has brought on more encounters, as well as many of the points Bob mentions. Half a century ago, it was almost a novelty to see deer here. Now you'd better be paying attention all the time including daytime or you'll be wearing one.

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How much of that can be attributed to a lack of professional integrity? I don't mean to demean the reporters but how many of them really seek the truth and accuracy in their efforts vs. the selling points for the story?

Bob

Bob, it's no different than other professions. Some are dedicated, some slipshod, and many in between.

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great insight dtro! To add to your points we have to look at the internet. Newspaper circulation in going down every year because more and more people are just "going online" instead of buying a paper. It is so easy to get "free" info from the internet vs paying for a paper so as revenue decreases so does staff. Where a paper used to have say ___ reporters they now have ____ they fill in the balance with national news sources or have people cross report. Less income equals less specialized reporting. I personally like the feeling of a newspaper in my hands but that is just me and not the trend.

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Originally Posted By: BobT
How much of that can be attributed to a lack of professional integrity? I don't mean to demean the reporters but how many of them really seek the truth and accuracy in their efforts vs. the selling points for the story?

Bob

Bob, it's no different than other professions. Some are dedicated, some slipshod, and many in between.

Right stf, however the "News" profession carrys with it an implied expectation of credibiliey. "I read it in the newspaper so it must be so".

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Originally Posted By: stfcatfish
Originally Posted By: BobT
How much of that can be attributed to a lack of professional integrity? I don't mean to demean the reporters but how many of them really seek the truth and accuracy in their efforts vs. the selling points for the story?

Bob

Bob, it's no different than other professions. Some are dedicated, some slipshod, and many in between.

Right stf, however the "News" profession carrys with it an implied expectation of credibiliey.

The same expectations apply to doctors, and cops, and soldiers. Some docs, cops and soldiers care more than others and have varying degrees of talent and dedication. A betrayal of trust by any of those three professions is at least as disturbing as a betrayal by the press.

Care to try again?

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How true. I guess I would rather be able to trust my Dr. than some news paper hack.

Snf speaking of hacks how'd you like my butchering of Credibility.

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How true. I guess I would rather be able to trust my Dr. than some news paper hack.

Exactly. The doctor holds your life in his/her hands. So does the cop. So does the soldier. The newsie has completely lost America's trust, and holds nothing in his/her hands anymore except a pile of horse [Poor Word Usage.]

I will say, once again, that the fact-finders at factcheck and snopes are the thorough and impartial journalists of today and tomorrow. If I was 25 again and full of the fire for truth, I'd be working for one of those.

As for spelling, I don't care about that in here. If you know what you mean and we know what you mean, it's a successful communication, and that's all the matters. There are no style or spelling points here, nor should there be. Spelling has no bearing on intelligence. smilesmile

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Still enjoy reading the rags though. I find it about as interesting how things are reported than what is reported.

Really like those cookie cutter articles where if you've read one you've read them all. My fovorite is the demonize the SUV template.

Some "journalist" decided that when someone looses control and drives through a crowd, or backs over someone or something, or is involved in a hit-and-run, it is news worthy to point out when they happen to be driving an SUV. Now they all do it. In fact it is not the driver that looses control, or flees the scene, it is the evil SUV itself!

Have you ever heard them report when the family sedan goes on a rampage?

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Originally Posted By: walleye101
Originally Posted By: stfcatfish

Bob' date=' it's no different than other professions. Some are dedicated, some slipshod, and many in between.

Right stf, however the "News" profession carrys with it an implied expectation of credibiliey.[/quote']

The same expectations apply to doctors, and cops, and soldiers. Some docs, cops and soldiers care more than others and have varying degrees of talent and dedication. A betrayal of trust by any of those three professions is at least as disturbing as a betrayal by the press.

Care to try again?

Are you implying that perhaps the media should be held to the same high standards of accuracy and integrity as doctors? Imagine a news reporter carrying liability insurance in case he reports an inaccurate story. In the case of those in the medical profession, neglect or intent is not the only criteria. Just a mere mistake, slip of a knife, or mis-diagnosis is all that is needed to put them in a defendant's role.

Bob

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