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Contact: Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles, 202-895-6005
WASHINGTON – Rock Creek Park Superintendent Tara Morrison announced today that the upcoming window of action for deer reduction in the park is January 2 through March 31, 2014. These actions are part of the Rock Creek Park White-tailed Deer Management Plan. Temporary night-time road closures will be in effect to provide for visitor safety during reduction activities.
Over the past 20 years, an overabundant white-tailed deer population has negatively impacted Rock Creek Park. Their numbers have grown so large that they are eating nearly all the tree seedlings and preventing the park’s forest from growing. Prompted by a marked decline in forest regeneration, Rock Creek Park initiated the planning process for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)/Deer Management Plan in 2005.
The Rock Creek Park White-tailed Deer Management Plan 2012 Record of Decision (ROD), calls for reducing the density of deer to support long-term protection and restoration of native vegetation and to allow for forest regeneration. A deer population density of 15-20 per square mile is needed for a healthy, diverse forest that supports native vegetation and other wildlife.
Extensive proactive safety measures will be in place to protect park visitors and neighbors. Highly trained marksmen from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, working under the direction of National Park Service resource management specialists and in coordination with the U.S. Park Police and local law enforcement, will conduct reduction actions at night when the park is normally closed.
The following road closures may be in effect from 9:30 pm to 4:00 am, when sharpshooting is underway: Ross Drive, Ridge Road, Glover Road, West Beach Drive; Beach Drive at Parkside Drive; Wise Road; Beach Drive from the Maryland line to Broad Branch Road, from Broad Branch to Tilden Street, and from Tilden Street to Porter Street, NW; Grant Road, Glover Road, Ridge Road, Joyce Road, Sherrill Drive, Bingham Drive, and Morrow Drive.
For more information please visit http://www.nps.gov/rocr/parkmgmt/white-tailed-deer-management.htm
UPDATE: January 6, 2014
Please be advised, additional temporary closures may be in place after dark as early as 6:30 p.m. to facilitate safe operations during the window of action from January 2 through March 31, 2014. These additional closures would take place on interior park roads and should not substantially affect commuter traffic. The following roads may be temporarily closed between 6:30 p.m. and 4:00 a.m.when reduction activities are underway:
·Ridge Road south of Grant Road,
·Glover Road south of the Rock Creek Park Horse Center,
·Horse Stable Road- which provides access to government facilities and is not a public access road.
For a pdf of this document, click here.