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Contact: Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles, 202-619-7177
WASHINGTON– Rock Creek Park Superintendent Tara Morrison announced today the upcoming window of action for deer reduction in the park is December 2, 2014 through March 31, 2015. These efforts are part of the park’s continued implementation of the Rock Creek Park White-tailed Deer Management Plan. Temporary evening road and trail closures will be in effect to provide for public safety during reduction activities. Commuters are encouraged to identify alternate routes to their destination and are reminded that closures apply to all vehicles including bikes.
Extensive safety measures will be in place to protect park visitors and neighbors. U.S. Department of Agriculture wildlife biologists who are also highly trained firearms experts will work under the direction of National Park Service resource management specialists and in coordination with the U.S. Park Police and local law enforcement, to conduct reduction actions after dark.
The following road closures may be in effect from 5:00 pm to 4:00 am, when reduction actions are underway: Ross Drive; Ridge Road south of Grant Road; Glover Road south of the Rock Creek Park Horse Center; and Horse Stable Road NW. Road closures may also be in effect from8:30 pm to 4:00 am: Beach Drive; Wise Road; the entire length of Glover Road; the entire length of Ridge Road; Grant Road; Sherrill Drive; Joyce Road; Morrow Drive; West Beach Drive at Parkside Drive; Stage Road; Piney Branch Parkway; and Bingham Drive, NW.
Since 2013, the park’s first year of implementing its deer management plan, Rock Creek Park has successfully and safely reduced the park’s deer population from nearly 80 per square mile to about half that density. A deer population density of15-20 per square mile is ultimately needed for a healthy, diverse forest that supports native vegetation and other wildlife.
Over the past 20 years, an overabundant white-tailed deer population has negatively impacted Rock Creek Park with deer eating nearly all tree and plant seedlings before they are able to grow. The Rock Creek Park White-tailed Deer Management Plan and 2012 Record of Decision calls for reducing the density of deer to support long-term protection and restoration of native vegetation and to allow for forest regrowth. Prompted by a marked decline in forest regeneration, Rock Creek Park initiated a public planning process for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)/Deer Management Plan in 2005.
For more information please visithttp://www.nps.gov/rocr/
For a pdf of this document, click here.