The National Park Service (NPS) is taking public comments on its options to control the white-tail deer population at three Civil War battlefields it manages in the Washington, DC area. The draft environmental impact statement applies to Antietam National Battlefield and Monocacy National Battlefield in Maryland and and Manassas National Battlefield Park in Northern Virginia.
You can read about the statement at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-07-23/html/2013-17656.htm. NPS is taking public comments until about Sept. 23.
The plan is designed “to develop a deer management strategy that supports preservation of the natural and cultural landscape through the protection and restoration of native vegetation,” and to combat chronic wasting disease among deer, NPS explains.
The statement outlines four possible management plans to deal with deer overpopulation, including a “no action” option.
On option involves putting does on birth control when possible and fencing off certain areas to allow reforestation and growth of plants by preventing deer from accessing them. It's not clear that such an effective birth control agent is available, though.
Another alternative includes killing deer through sharpshooters and/or capture and euthanasia. If free from disease, NPS would donate the venison.
The final option involves some killing and once the population has been reduced to a desirable level, using birth control to maintain it.