National Park Service looks to reduce deer populations in DC, Maryland parks

Someone hide Bambi.

Citing a need to protect, preserve and restore native plants and landscapes, the National Park Service is proposing plans to curtail deer populations in several national parks in D.C. and Maryland.

“Within forests, deer can significantly reduce forest regeneration by eating tree seedlings and preventing them from growing taller and becoming saplings,” the NPS said in an announcement.

“Over time, this can degrade forests and the habitat they provide for other animals and plants. Through the proposed deer management plan/[environmental assessment] the management of the deer population will allow for the restoration of native vegetation and landscapes.”

The plan would be implemented within the following parks:

D.C.: Anacostia Park, Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, Fort Mahan, Fort Dupont, Fort Davis, Fort Chaplin, Fort Stanton, Fort Ricketts, Fort Greble, Battery Carroll and Shepherd Parkway.

Maryland: Fort Washington Park, Fort Foote, Piscataway Park, Oxon Cove Park, Harmony Hall, Greenbelt Park, Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Suitland Parkway.

The NPS will host a virtual public meeting June 15 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and make the proposal available online that day. The public can register for the meeting here.

More information is available online.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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