Learn about deer-related conflicts from state wildlife experts

Matt Blankenship and Shelly Ament of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife offer “Deer in my Yard – A Love/Hate Relationship,” a Green Thumbs Garden Tips education series presentation about deer and conflicts associated with deer, from noon-1 p.m. Thursday Nov. 11, via Zoom.

Blankenship, a wildlife conflict specialist, will provide information on mitigating damage caused by deer to gardens, landscaping, and ornamental plants in urban and rural areas. He will discuss options from fencing, repellents and scare devices Clallam County residents can use to efficiently and cost effectively manage deer damage to their gardens and the landscaping around their homes.

Ament, a wildlife biologist, plans to detail general biology for deer and will talk about some deer diseases the public can look out for. She will inform attendees about a deer study which is ongoing in a community in Sequim.

Join by computer by going to extension.wsu.edu/clallam and selecting the Master Gardener Zoom Presentation Link. Or, join by phone by calling 253-215-8782 (meeting ID 916 2688 9983, passcode 101869).

Blankenship has several years of experience with WDFW working with agriculture producers and homeowners throughout the Olympic Peninsula and South Sound on mitigating conflicts associated with wildlife. He is one of two conflict specialists working in in WDFW’s South Sound/Olympic Peninsula (Region 6). Blankenship covers seven counties: Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap, Mason, Pierce, Thurston and part of Lewis. About 1.7 million people live in region six, and his job is to give them tools and information to help minimize conflicts with wildlife.

Ament is District 16’s assistant wildlife biologist that covers Clallam and western Jefferson counties. She graduated from Colorado State University with a bachelor of science degree in wildlife biology and worked 12 years as a seasonal ranger for the National Park Service. Ament ventured to Washington state in 1991 to serve as an Olympic National Park Coastal Wilderness Ranger. She moved to her current position in 1993.

She has been responsible for the protection and management of bald eagles, the monitoring and management of diversity (non-game) and game wildlife species, monitoring threatened and endangered species, wildlife diversity, biodiversity conservation, habitat improvement projects, outreach/education, and assisting injured sick wildlife.

Ament now works with elk, deer, waterfowl, sea otters, butterflies, bats, bumble bees, and other wildlife species. She received notoriety for developing the elk crossing project in Sequim that has significantly decreased the number of elk/vehicle collisions along U.S. Highway 101 and recently was instrumental in working with the Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society and Clallam County PUD on the Swan Safe Project to bury power lines at Kirner Pond to protect wintering trumpeter swans.

Sponsored by WSU Clallam County Master Gardeners, the Green Thumbs Garden Tips education series seeks to provide home gardeners with education on research-based sustainable garden practices in Clallam County.

The series is offered via streaming presentations from noon-1 p.m. the second and fourth Thursday each month through October (in November, December and January, one program is offered). Scheduled presentations are subject to change. Visit the WSU Extension Clallam County website calendar (extension.wsu.edu/clallam) for the latest information on upcoming presentations.

For more information, call 360-565-2679.