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Deer Management Plan and Environmental Assessment for National Capital Parks-East

National Capital Parks - East » Deer Management Plan and Environmental Assessment for National Capital Parks-East » Document List

To protect and restore native plants and promote healthy and diverse forests, the National Park Service (NPS) proposes to reduce overabundant deer populations in several national parks in DC and Maryland. We encourage park neighbors and visitors to review and share comments on a NPS proposal to develop a deer management plan and environmental assessment (EA) for National Capital Parks - East, which includes Anacostia Park, Greenbelt Park, Fort Washington Park and other parks. The NPS will host a virtual public meeting and make the proposal available online on June 15.

The purpose of this proposal is to develop a white-tailed deer management strategy that supports long-term protection, preservation and restoration of native plants and landscapes in these parks. Within forests, deer can significantly reduce forest regeneration by eating tree seedlings and preventing them from growing taller and becoming saplings. Over time, this can degrade forests and the habitat they provide for other animals and plants. Through the proposed deer management plan/EA the management of the deer population will allow for the restoration of native vegetation and landscapes. 

Several national parks in the Washington, DC, area have approved and implemented deer management plans. Rock Creek Park has seen tree seedling densities almost triple since starting deer management. Catoctin Mountain Park has seen a 13-fold tree seedling density.

The proposed white-tailed deer management would be implemented within the following parks:

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

Washington, 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.