The Mayne Conservancy decided over a year ago that we needed to engage with the provincial government on the overabundant invasive fallow deer problem on Mayne. Since then we have shared with you our letters and the one response from the government.

We decided that with the recent change in premier and cabinet shuffle we should write to the new minister responsible, Minister Nathan Cullen (read our letter here). We also had an opinion piece about the deer problem published in the Times Colonist last month which you can read here.

We appreciate that our local politicians, including Trustee Jeanine Dodds, CRD representative Paul Brent, and MLA Adam Olsen, are all active on this issue. We all agree that the real action, a funded solution, must come from the provincial government, since it allowed the fallow deer farm on Mayne that is the cause of the problem today, and failed to take timely action when deer escaped from the farm.

Our work on this issue has a better chance of succeeding if we have many voices backing our call for action. If you are frustrated with the lack of response from the provincial government on the invasive fallow deer problem, then please take a moment to send an email to Minister Cullen and send us a copy.  In addition to your own comments, we are providing some key messages that you could include in your email. Thank you for your support on this issue.

Your Opportunity to Take Action – Email  the Minister Responsible

Four Easy Steps:

  1. Copy the content below.
  2. Paste it in your email program.
  3. Insert your name after “Sincerely.”
  4. Send it to the email addresses provided.


Honourable Nathan Cullen
Minister of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship

Government of British Columbia

Dear Minister Cullen,

The Mayne Island Conservancy Society has written to you about the significant damage being done to the Southern Gulf Islands’ ecosystems and biodiversity due to invasive fallow deer.

The problem arose with the escape of fallow deer from a commercial enterprise on Mayne that was licensed by the provincial government in the 1990’s, and the subsequent failure of the province to exercise its responsibility to take action to deal with the problem.

I hope that you will recognize the significance of this ecological crisis, and the threat posed to the ecologies and agricultural economies of these islands and, inevitably, Vancouver Island if it is not resolved. 

In the absence of natural predators, critical action is needed to restore balance.

The Mayne Conservancy is asking that the provincial government take ownership for the over abundance of fallow deer on Mayne and provide a funded solution to deal with it. 

I support the Mayne Conservancy in this call to action.



Email to: Nathan Cullen, BC Minister of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship

CC the following:


Adrian Wright · February 2, 2023 at 11:01 pm

I doubt that the political or moral will required to adequately address the fallow deer problem is presently is existence in this country.

    Robin Walsh · February 5, 2023 at 3:56 pm

    Hi Adrian. Thanks for your note. You might be right but standing by and watching the ongoing destruction by the fallow deer is not an option. The Conservancy and others on Mayne including the Deer Cttee and the MI Parks & Rec Commission are working with our IT and CRD reps to put together a plan that includes MLA Olsen to present to the provincial government. Our members are certainly interested in this work and we’ll keep them informed as our efforts move along. See you on the trails, Robin.

Garth Owen · February 17, 2023 at 1:00 pm

The government is doing major culls elsewhere
No under cover is left for other life
Thanks for the push

    Robin Walsh · February 27, 2023 at 4:08 pm

    Thanks Garth. Yes, we see those culls on deer and on geese elsewhere so let’s hope we can get some govt. action on Mayne too.

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