Essex County officials on Monday announced plans to install additional deer deterrent reflectors at locations in Livingston as part of its overall deer management plan. The devices, which emit a high-frequency noise when activated by car headlights, have been used on Brookside Drive and Cherry Lane in Millburn and West Orange.
The sound emitted from the devices is designed to scare deer away from the road and reduce the amount of deer-related collisions. The 417 deer deterrent reflectors, were purchased with $75,000 from a state Department of Transportation grant. County officials have said the reflectors work, but did not have immediate numbers of the amount of deer carcasses that have been removed from those county roads.
In addition, Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr. said he will continue the deer culling program at county parks and reservations and a reforestation program at South Mountain Reservation as part of the county's overall deer management plan.
The reflectors will be installed on:
Parsonage Hill Road between Passaic Avenue and John F. Kennedy Parkway in Millburn and Livingston.
John F. Kennedy Parkway between Hobart Gap Road and South Orange Avenue in Livingston.
East Hobart Gap Road between Livingston Avenue to Chestnut Street in Livingston.
Eisenhower Parkway from Walnut Street to Route 10 in Livingston.
Freeholder Patricia Sebold, who lives in Livingston, endorsed the deer reflectors. She recounted her own frightening experience of injuring a deer with her car years ago while driving on Hobart Gap Road, prior to the county enacting its deer management plan.
DiVincenzo said the county deer hunt will continue in February 2011. The deer hunt will take place at South Mountain Reservation, Eagle Rock Reservation and Hilltop Reservation and add a new site – Essex County's Francis Byrne Golf Course in West Orange. The county has held the hunt at South Mountain Reservation for three years and the other two county parks were added this year.
DiVincenzo acknowledged that some residents are opposed to the hunt, but said it must continue to protect the safety of county residents. The culling also works hand-in-hand with the county's reforestation program, which has been in place in South Mountain Reservation. He said the county will also begin reforestation programs at the Eagle Rock and Hilltop Reservations.
There were two protesters to the annual deer hunt at Monday's announcement. Marilynn English, who is running for county executive as an independent, handed out a two-page sheet detailing her opposition to the hunt and how county officials should use deer contraception instead.
Carol Rivielle, of West Orange, stood to the side of the press conference with a sign protesting the deer hunt. Though she said she thinks the deer reflectors are working, she believes deer versus car problems near South Mountain Reservation are minimal, "I'm frustrated I constantly have to deal with these (public relations) demonstrations that mean nothing."