Seeking Comments on White-tailed Deer Management Plan
Contact: Lynda Lancaster, 219-395-1682
The National Park Service has released a draft White-tailed Deer Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement for Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore seeking public comment. Each unit of the National Park Service is driven by federal enabling legislation and this management plan is needed to ensure that the local deer population does not harm the park’s biologically diverse natural communities. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore was established in part to preserve the exceptional biological diversity of Northwest Indiana, including many threatened and endangered plants and animals. The White-tailed Deer Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement is available online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/indu or you can request a hard copy or CD at the address listed below.
The national lakeshore will host an open house at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Visitor Center on March 12, 2009 from 5:00 p. m. to 8:00 p. m. featuring informational displays about the deer management plan. The meeting is in an open house format, you can arrive at any time and stay as long as you'd like. A brief 15 minute presentation will be given at 5:30pm.
The best way to comment is to use the electronic form located at: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/indu. Click the document on which you wish to comment.
The White-tailed Deer Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement evaluates four possible management actions in depth.
Each alternative addresses the potential environmental consequences for vegetation, soils and water quality, white-tailed deer and deer habitat, other wildlife and wildlife habitat, sensitive and rare species, archeological resources, cultural landscapes, visitor use and experience, visitor and employee health and safety, soundscapes, socioeconomic conditions, and national lakeshore management and operations.
The National Park Service’s preferred alternative, Alternative D would best protect, preserve, and enhance the natural processes within the national lakeshore to maintain a viable deer population since there would be little, if any, uncertainty involved with implementing the selected methods to maintain low deer numbers. Alternative D would also best protect the biological and physical environment by ensuring an immediate reduction in deer herd numbers that could be sustained with proven methods over the life of the plan.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is one of 391 units of the National Park System ranging from Yellowstone to the Statue of Liberty. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore includes 15 miles of the southern shoreline of Lake Michigan and 15,000 acres of beach, woods, marshes, and prairie in the northwest corner of Indiana. More than 2 million visitors come to this national park each year. More information can be found at www.nps.gov/INDU.
Did You Know?
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore has more than 1,135 native plant species distributed over six plant communities. Among all the national parks in the United States, it ranks seventh in plant diversity. This is an amazing feat for 15,000+ acres.