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Park Service Resumes Shooting Of Deer In Rock Creek Park

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The National Park Service says that Rock Creek Park is overrun with white-tailed deer.
The National Park Service says that Rock Creek Park is overrun with white-tailed deer.

The National Park Service is moving forward with the controversial deer control effort.

Through the end of March, sharpshooters will be working to reduce the population of deer in Rock Creek Park.

"Over the next couple months. Rock Creek Park will be working with highly skills marksmen from the US Department of Agriculture's wildlife service branch to take about 106 deer," says Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles, a spokeswoman with the National Park Service. Venison will be donated to homeless shelters and food kitchens.

She says the deer are eating most tree seedlings and preventing forest regeneration.

"This is part of the Record of decision for the park's white tail deer management plan, which calls for reducing the park's deer population from 77 per square mile to 15 to 20 per square mile," she explains.

On nights sharpshooting is taking place, some roads around Rock Creek park will be closed, but officials are not releasing dates. They say closures may be in effect between 9:30 pm and 4 a.m. on those nights.

The sharpshooting began last year, but was delayed due to a lawsuit filed by animal rights activists and citizens. Once the judge dismissed the lawsuit marksmen only had a week to reduce the population and killed 20 deer.

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