This Final Non-Native Deer Management Plan & Environmental Impact Statement analyzes a preferred alternative, no action, and four additional alternatives for future management of Axis deer (Axis axis) and Fallow deer (Dama dama) in Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area lands administered by Point Reyes National Seashore. As lead agency for the plan, the National Park Service developed the alternatives to address problems and management concerns of non-native deer in Point Reyes National Seashore. The management plan would assist the National Park Service in the restoration of native ecosystems within the park, prevent spread of non-native deer into surrounding private and public lands, and address adverse impacts to agricultural permittees within the Point Reyes National Seashore.
The alternatives differ primarily in their approach to deer population control and in desired future numbers of deer. Alternative A, the No Action alternative, calls for no change in existing management of non-native deer, and results in increased range and numbers of both species. Alternatives B and C call for controlling numbers of both species at a pre-determined level (i.e., 350 axis and 350 fallow deer) using lethal removal alone or a combination of lethal removal and long-acting contraceptives. Alternative D calls for complete removal of both species by 2021 using lethal removal alone. Alternative E is the preferred alternative and would completely remove both species of non-native deer from the Seashore by 2021 using a combination of long-acting contraceptives and lethal removal. Issues raised during public scoping were incorporated in the analysis and are discussed in the document. A number of alternatives calling for relocation, fencing, hunting, and contraception alone are discussed as Considered but Rejected.
Environmental consequences of the five alternatives are divided into the impact topics of natural resources (water, soils, vegetation, wildlife, and special status species), human health and safety, visitor experience, park operations, and regional economy. Impacts to areas outside the park are discussed as they might be affected by dispersing or expanding non-native deer populations.
Responses to comments submitted to the Seashore during the 63-day public comment period (from February 4, 2005, through April 8, 2005) are included in Chapter 5. Additional detail was added to the EIS concerning issues that engendered the most frequent comments. Updated scientific information, relating to impacts of non-native deer to PRNS natural resources, can be found in Chapter 3, Affected Environment, as well in the impact sections for each alternative.
The Record of Decision adopting the alternative or actions constituting the approved plan was signed on October 17, 2006, by John Jarvis, Regional Director, Pacific West Region. The Notice of Approval of Record of Decision was published in the Federal Register on November 28, 2006.
The complete FEIS is posted below. The printed document and digital version on compact disk will also be available for viewing at the park headquarters and local libraries. For further information on the FEIS, please check this website or contact Seashore headquarters at 415-464-5100.