NPS proposes plan to control deer population with sharpshooting, euthanasia

White-tailed deer (ABC7 file photo)

The National Park Service announced Monday its plan to reduce the population of deer that threatens Harpers Ferry and Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) Canal national historical parks.

According to a statement from the NPS, the high number of white-tailed deer are threatening the natural beauty and historic scenery at the parks by eating almost all of the tree seedlings, compromising the forests' ability to sustain themselves Deer are also endangering the critical habitat for native birds and other wildlife by destroying smaller trees.

Members of the public are encouraged to comment on The White-Tailed Deer Management Plan and Environmental Assessment, which analyzes four possible alternatives for managing the parks' deer populations, the NPS says.

The NPS says the best method to manage the deer populations is "Alternative D: Combined Lethal and Nonlethal Deer Management," which includes sharpshooting, limited capture and euthanasia, and reproductive controls.

Four parks in the national capital region already have white-tailed deer management plans: Antietam National Battlefield (Md.), Catoctin Mountain Park (Md.), Monocacy National Battlefield (Md.) and Rock Creek Park (D.C.).

To learn more and to comment, click here for the National Park Service Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) project website.

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