National Park Service Releases Final Deer Management Plan for Fire Island National Seashore

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Date: January 5, 2016
Contact: Lindsay Ries, 631-687-4768
Contact: Elizabeth Rogers, 631-687-4766

Patchogue, NY – Superintendent Chris Soller announced today the National Park Service (NPS) has completed the Fire Island National Seashore Final White-tailed Deer Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (Final Deer Plan/EIS). The Final Deer Plan/EIS may be viewed on the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment website.

A December 31, 2015 National Park Service Federal Register Notice announced the availability of the Final Deer Plan/EIS. On January 8 a second Federal Register Notice is expected to be issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and will begin a 30-day no action period. Approval of the Final Deer Plan/EIS must then be issued through a Record of Decision, signed by the NPS Northeast Regional Director. Following approval of the Final Deer Plan/EIS implementation will begin as funding becomes available. The NPS will continue current deer research, monitoring, and education efforts in support of the plan during this time.

"We believe this long-awaited plan provides us the direction to protect the critical resources identified in the Seashore's enabling legislation," said Soller. The purpose of Fire Island National Seashore's Deer Plan/EIS is to reduce the impacts from deer on the Seashore's globally rare maritime forest and historic plantings at the William Floyd Estate. Issues related to human-deer interactions are also addressed in the plan. The Deer Plan/EIS, prepared in collaboration with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and U.S. Department of Agriculture and with public input, analyzes deer management strategies that aim to preserve and protect the Seashore's natural and cultural features.

All alternatives analyzed in the Deer Plan/EIS consider education, deer and vegetation monitoring, and fencing of critical resources as necessary management actions. The NPS preferred alternative, Alternative D, outlines a set of management strategies to decrease impacts from deer on Seashore resources while maintaining a viable deer population within the Seashore. Alternative D includes lethal and non-lethal management options.

Preparation of the Deer Plan/EIS began in the summer of 2011 with an initial public scoping period. Comments received during public scoping were used to develop and analyze alternatives in the Draft Deer Plan/EIS. In July 2014 the Draft Deer Plan/EIS was released for a 60-day public review and comment period. Two public meetings were held during this time. All comments on the draft may be viewed on the NPS PEPC website and the NPS response to substantive public comments is included in the Final Deer Plan/EIS.  

Last updated: January 6, 2016

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