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“National Park Service proposes to reduce deer populations in parks in DC and Maryland”

Photo by C on the scene

From the National Park Service:

“To protect and restore native plants and promote healthy and diverse forests, the National Park Service (NPS) proposes to reduce overabundant deer populations in several national parks in DC and Maryland. We encourage park neighbors and visitors to review and share comments on a NPS proposal to develop a deer management plan and environmental assessment (EA) for National Capital Parks – East, which includes Anacostia Park, Greenbelt Park, Fort Washington Park and other parks. The NPS will host a virtual public meeting and make the proposal available online on June 15.

The purpose of this proposal is to develop a white-tailed deer management strategy that supports long-term protection, preservation and restoration of native plants and landscapes in these parks. Within forests, deer can significantly reduce forest regeneration by eating tree seedlings and preventing them from growing taller and becoming saplings. Over time, this can degrade forests and the habitat they provide for other animals and plants. Through the proposed deer management plan/EA the management of the deer population will allow for the restoration of native vegetation and landscapes. 

Several national parks in the Washington, DC, area have approved and implemented deer management plans. Rock Creek Park has seen tree seedling densities almost triple since starting deer management. Catoctin Mountain Park has seen a 13-fold tree seedling density.

The proposed white-tailed deer management would be implemented within the following parks:

Maryland: Fort Washington Park, Fort Foote, Piscataway Park, Oxon Cove Park, Harmony Hall, Greenbelt Park, Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Suitland Parkway.

Washington, D.C.: Anacostia Park, Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, Fort Mahan, Fort Dupont, Fort Davis, Fort Chaplin, Fort Stanton, Fort Ricketts, Fort Greble, Battery Carroll and Shepherd Parkway.

Attend the public meeting: A live, virtual public scoping meeting will be held on June 15, 2021 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Register for the meeting by clicking here

To connect to audio, use the meeting website link or dial, 877-353-4701. Registration is not required to participate in the meeting. This link is also for the meeting on June 15, 2021. A recording of the meeting will also be available for viewing at the NPS Park Planning website after June 15, 2021.

How to comment: Public participation is vital to the planning process. You are invited to review the proposal and provide comments and ideas from June 15 through July 15. To provide comments online or get additional information on the project, visit the NPS planning website.

You may also listen to a recording of the presentation and leave comments on the project information line by calling 410-777-9538. The project information line will be available from June 15 to July 15, 2021.

If you prefer to mail your comments, make sure they are postmarked by July 15, 2021 to receive consideration.

Mail comments to the following address:

ATTN: Deer Management Plan/EA Comments
National Capital Parks – East
1900 Anacostia Drive, SE
Washington, DC 20020″

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