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Contact: Rebecca Karcher, 202-895-6222
Washington, D.C. – The National Park Service (NPS) has concluded deer management operations in Rock Creek Park for the 2014 season. Between January 2 and March 31, 2014, 106 deer were removed, safely and without incident, from the park. National Park Service resource management specialists, in coordination with United States Park Police and local law enforcement, worked closely with highly trained marksmen and biologists from the United States Department of Agriculture to ensure public safety, which was the operation's highest priority. The NPS will donate all suitable venison to a Washington, D.C. food bank.
As called for in its White-tailed Deer Management Plan, the park will continue to monitor vegetation plots and deer population. Over the last 20 years, the park's white-tailed deer population has grown so large that the deer are eating nearly all tree seedlings, preventing regrowth of the forest. The plan calls for reducing the deer population from more than 70 per square mile to 15-20 per square mile. This reduction will help ensure the long-term protection, preservation, and restoration of the forest and other native vegetation. To support this goal, deer management operations will resume in late fall or winter of 2014/2015.
For more information on the deer management in Rock Creek Park visit http://www.nps.gov/rocr/parkmgmt/white-tailed-deer-management.htm
For a pdf of this document, please click here.