Flagstaff Ordiance Could Stop The Feeding Of Wildlife

August 12, 2013

 Wildlife is becoming a problem for residents in Flagstaff. The Arizona Game and Fish Department said people are purposely leaving food out for animals like deer and elk, attracting the animals. One way to curb the problem is to pass an ordinance with stiff penalties. At a community meeting Monday, the Game and Fish officials will explain a proposed ordinance that would penalize residents who purposely feed wildlife. They want the community to support it.

State officials said the Flagstaff population is growing, and that means more contact with animals. The more animals get accustomed to humans, the more easily diseases will spread and animals could become aggressive. The penalties in the ordinance include written warnings for first time offenders and up to a $750 fine and 30 days in jail or one year of probation for multiple offenses.

Larry Phoenix is with the Arizona Game and Fish. He said there is a state law that prohibits feeding wildlife animals, but it does not affect Flagstaff.

"The state law that we have (is) only valid within the counties that have 280,000 people living in that county," said Phoenix. "Coconino County does not have anywhere near 280,000. So, there’s only three counties that the state law actually applies for and that’s Maricopa County, Pima down in Tucson and Pinal."

Game and Fish will submit its proposal and the community’s input to the Flagstaff City Council on August 23.

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