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Expanding Deer Management Strategies Proposed; Community Feedback Sought

August 24, 2005

SILVER SPRING, MD — The Montgomery County Department of Park and Planning seeks public comment on plans to expand its deer management program to several additional county parks this fall and winter. Growing deer populations in Montgomery County have led to an increase in deer-related automobile collisions and damage to agricultural crops, natural ecosystems and residential landscapes. Public comment will be accepted through September 9.

Current deer management strategies include: carefully managed hunts in which only hunters who meet the highest level of county and state safety standards are permitted to participate; sharp shooting by expertly trained park police officers; and numerous public education campaigns on which multiple government agencies collaborate.

The deer management programs have been implemented in the following parks and will continue this year. The parks will be closed to the public from dawn to dusk on the dates noted.

Blockhouse Point Conservation Park in Darnestown
Tuesdays – November 8, 22 and December 22

Bucklodge Forest Conservation Park in Barnesville
Select dates October through January

the undeveloped Goshen Recreational Park in Germantown
Year around – Monday through Saturday

Hoyles Mill Conservation Park and Little Seneca Model Airpark in Boyds
Select dates October through January

Little Bennett Regional Park in Clarksburg
Friday, November 11 and Tuesday, December 6 through Friday, December 9

Rachel Carson Conservation Park in Brookeville
Mondays — November 7 and 21 and December 12

Woodstock Special Park in Beallsville
Select dates October through January

From January 1, 2006 through March 31, park police sharp shooting will continue at the following parks: Agricultural History Farm Park in Derwood; Black Hill Regional Park in Boyds; North Branch Stream Valley Park in Derwood: Northwest Branch Park in Aspen Hill; Rock Creek Regional Park in Rockville; Woodlawn Special Park and a section of Northwest Branch Stream Valley Park in Sandy Spring. Each park will be closed to the public from sunset until sunrise during this period and appropriate signs will be posted.

The department plans to expand the deer management programs to: the Dry Seneca Stream Valley Park in Poolesville; portions of the Muddy Branch Stream Valley Park and Serpentine Barrens Conservation Park in Darnestown; North Germantown Greenway Park and a portion of the Great Seneca Extension Stream Valley Park in Goshen; and Wheaton Regional Park in Wheaton.

For further information, visit http://www.mcparkandplanning.org/Parks/PPSD/Natural_Resources_Stewardship/Living_with_wildlife/deer/DeerManagement.shtm or call the Commission’s deer information hotline at 301-495-3585.