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Open Letter to Our Devoted Members


May 31, 2024

Dear Friends and Supporters,

We appreciate your ongoing support as devoted members of the Conservancy and want to share an update on the Catalina Island Restoration Project.

Catalina Island faces chronic threats of fire and ecological imbalance that have been exacerbated by the presence of non-native mule deer. While science speaks loudly to what must be done to ensure the safety of Catalina for future generations, the methodology to remove the mule deer is what has been at the center of discussion.

This week, at a special meeting of the Los Angeles County Fish and Wildlife Commission, the Conservancy responded to concerns expressed by Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn and opponents of aerial hunting.

Although experts have clearly stated that aerial hunting is the most efficient and humane method for removing mule deer in these situations, we are revising our plan to prioritize alternative methods for deer removal.

It will take time to revise the plan effectively as we collaborate with our partners and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the permitting agency for removing the invasive mule deer. In the meantime, we will proceed with a ground hunting season. More specifics on the hunting season will be provided on our website here, once available.

The Conservancy has stated from the start that we would be thoughtful and inclusive in our process of developing the plan and working to ensure that community input was part of our decision-making process. Our decision to modify the plan speaks to that commitment without compromising the goals and objectives of the Island Restoration Project. Regardless of the path to get there, the Conservancy remains steadfast in its commitment to make Catalina Island safer and more fire resilient for future generations.

For more information about the Catalina Island Restoration Project please access the resource portal here and/or email [email protected] and a team member will respond.

Thank you for your ongoing support and we look forward to welcoming you back to the Island.

Best regards,

Kirsten Peterson Johansen
Chief of External Affairs