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  • To preserve and sustain the unique character of the Little Spokane River Valley, including it's open space and natural setting.
  • To maintain lower density zoning.
  • To protect the area's ecosystem including water quality, wetlands, priority habitat and wildlife, and dwindling native vegetation.
  • To encourage the development of area parks and natural areas.
  • To educate public officials of the concerns of the Friends of the Little Spokane River Valley, and be pro-active when major issues are at the forefront.

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    Is Your Last Rose Of Summer Going To The Deer?
    Article Courtesy of

    Crossing Paths News Notes

    Published by

    Washington Department of

    Fish and Wildlife

    August is the time to enjoy the fruits of your gardening labors, from tomatoes on the vine to those last roses of summer on the bush. But are deer thwarting your plans for backyard garden gratification? Those lovely, graceful, peaceful creatures can frustrate even the most benevolent, wildlife appreciative gardener, especially when there's a small herd helping themselves. And as natural forage is drying out with late summer heat, irrigated landscapes and gardens become more attractive to more deer.

    Deer repellents, commercially available or homemade, can be a good short term solution. They work best if applied before deer develop a routine feeding pattern, so you actually should have been using them two months ago to prevent a habit from forming, instead of trying to break one now. Most repellents have to be re-applied after rain or watering. And they work because they have a disagreeable odor and/ or taste - disagreeable not only to deer, but also to you!

    Like most animals, deer are neophobic (fearful of novel or new-on-the-landscape objects), so things like barking dogs, scarecrows, bright lights, radios, whistles and other noisemakers can work - for a while. Deer soon get accustomed to these things and damage resumes after they realize no actual harm will come to them.

    The best insurance against deer (or elk) damage is a high (six to eight feet) woven-wire fence. That may be the ticket for a vegetable garden, or around individual young trees or shrubs. But fencing may not be practical nor aesthetically acceptable around an entire landscape. Landscaping with deer-resistant plants may be your best alternative to fencing.

    There is no such thing as a completely deer-proof plant in every situation with every deer. Whether or not a plant will be eaten depends on several factors: the deer's nutritional needs, its previous feeding experience, plant palatability, time of year, and availability of wild foods. When preferred foods are scarce, there are few plants that some deer will not at least try to eat. A large deer population can create competition for food, causing deer to eat many plants that they normally would avoid. A walk or drive through your neighborhood can give you an idea of what plants are being eaten or avoided by deer.

    In most areas, deer love roses, willows, clover, dandelions, and many kinds of berry-producing plants. A list of food plants used by Pacific Northwest deer is available at: wdfw.wa.gov/living/deer.html#food Deer tend to avoid established (not necessarily young new growth) irises, daylilies, daffodils, sedums, poppies, lilacs, lavender and many herbs.

    A list of deer-resistant plants is available at: wdfw.wa.gov/living/deer.html#landscaping

    If you don't want your last rose of summer going to the deer, and are ready to use more deer-resistant plants, just keep in mind that anything you add now to a landscape already suffering from severe deer damage, will likely also be browsed - at least initially.

    Let us know what works - or not - for you, and we'll share more tips with your fellow wildlife-loving gardeners in future editions.

    E-mail Crossing Paths editor Madonna.Luers@dwfw.wa.gov

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