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Fire Island National Seashore Draft White-tailed Deer Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement

This Draft White-tailed Deer Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (plan/EIS) describes four alternatives for the management of white-tailed deer at Fire Island National Seashore (the Seashore), as well as the environment that would be affected by the alternatives and the environmental consequences of implementing these alternatives.

The purpose of the plan/EIS is to develop a deer management strategy that supports protection, preservation, regeneration, and restoration of native vegetation and other natural and cultural resources at the Seashore and reduces undesirable human-deer interactions in the Fire Island communities. The plan/EIS is also intended to promote public understanding of the complex relationship between deer and Seashore resources, tick-borne diseases, people, and human infrastructure. Action is needed at this time to address impacts associated with changes in white-tailed deer abundance, distribution, and behavior across the Seashore. Heavy browsing by white-tailed deer has resulted in adverse impacts on native vegetation across Fire Island as well as on natural and cultural resources at the William Floyd Estate. The presence of abundant food sources (including naturally occurring vegetation, unsecured garbage, intentional feeding, gardens/ornamental landscaping) and shelter in the Fire Island communities have resulted in adverse interactions between deer and humans and the developed environment. Adverse interactions also occur due to the habituation of deer to the unthreatening presence of humans and conditioning of deer, particularly to food sources, in the Fire Island communities and high-visitor use areas.
 
Comment Period: Closed        07/31/2014 - 10/10/2014
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