“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. Using feedback and ideas from the previous public engagement period, the NPS has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) for National Capital Parks – East, which includes Anacostia Park, Greenbelt Park, Fort Washington Park and other parks. We encourage the public to review the EA and provide comments on it through Nov. 8, 2021.
The EA assesses the impacts of a white-tailed deer management strategy to support long-term protection, preservation and restoration of native vegetation and other natural and cultural landscapes in the parks. Within forests, deer can significantly reduce forest regeneration by damaging and eating tree seedlings and saplings. Over time, this can degrade forests and the habitat they provide for other animals and plants.
Several national parks in the metropolitan 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 increase in tree seedling density.
The white-tailed deer management implementation areas are proposed 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, DC: Anacostia Park, Kenilworth Park and Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, Fort Mahan, Fort Dupont, Fort Davis, Fort Chaplin, Fort Stanton, Fort Ricketts, Fort Greble, Battery Carroll and Shepherd Parkway.
How to comment: Public participation is vital to the planning process. You are invited to review and provide comments on the EA from Oct. 6 through Nov. 8. To provide comments online or get additional information, please visit the NPS planning website here.
If you prefer to mail your comments, make sure they are postmarked by Nov. 8, 2021 to receive consideration.
Mail comments to the following address:
ATTN: Deer Management EA Comments
National Capital Parks – East
1900 Anacostia Drive, SE
Washington, DC 20020″
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