Cornell UniversityThe Nature Conservancy

Community Example: Mumford Cove Homeowners' Association, Connecticut

Key facts

  • Community Size: Small city or village (less than 10,000 people)
  • Region: Northeast
    • Plan established in 1999

    Mumford Cove, Connecticut is a small residential community (fewer than 150 households) located on a small peninsula surrounded on three sides by Long Island Sound. Residents contacted the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), expressing concerns about Lyme disease and deer damage to shrubs and gardens in 1991. Growing concerns led the community to endorse a DEP study of deer movement beginning in 1995, and a deer reproduction control experiment by the Humane Society of the US (HSUS) beginning in 1997. By 1999 residents’ concerns about Lyme disease had become so great that the Mumford Cove Homeowners’ Association (MCHA) formed a tick committee, which recommended that MCHA implement lethal deer management. A vote by MCHA members resulted in decisions to eliminate the community’s no-hunting ordinance, initiate a deer hunt, and terminate the deer reproduction experiment. A wildlife management committee was formed to design and coordinate the highly controlled annual hunt, which has occurred since 2000. Monitoring has documented that the deer population has been substantially reduced, plant damage is less severe, tick abundance has declined, and residents perceive a lower incidence of Lyme disease.