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Montgomery Parks Proposes Expansion of Deer Management Operations

October 26, 2015

Public comment sought on two proposed new sites through Wednesday, November 18;  Parks announces dates and times for closures of existing sites and offers precautions related to deer vehicle collisions.

SILVER SPRING, MDMontgomery Parks, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) will launch the remainder of its fall 2015, winter 2016 deer management operations season today. Several parks will be closed intermittently during the program which takes place through the end of February. Lottery-based and cooperative managed deer hunts, as well as Park Police-based sharpshooting, will take place in 36 parks in Montgomery Parks system to address the negative impact in communities from an increasing deer population. (A complete schedule of park closure dates and times is listed at the end of the release.)

The safety of residents is the Department of Parks’ top priority.

Program Expansion and Public Comment

Montgomery Parks is currently seeking public comment through November 18, 2015 on adding two parks to the program:

  • Muddy Branch Stream Valley Park, Unit 1, Darnestown/Travillah
  • Rock Creek Stream Valley Park, Unit 2 (Stoneybrook Dr. to Connecticut Ave.), Kensington

These sites would rely on Park Police-based sharpshooting of deer at night when parks are closed.

Citizens are encouraged to provide comment, or to register support or opposition of the proposed.

Comments must include a valid name and address and may be submitted online at www.ParksDeerManagement.org or by U.S. Mail to:

M-NCPPC, Deer Management Initiatives
12535 Milestone Manor Lane
Germantown, MD  20876.

All comments will be posted online at www.parksdeermanagement.org

Michael F. Riley, Director of Montgomery Parks will consider a variety of factors before making a decision about expanding the program.  Community feedback, particularly comments from people living adjacent to the proposed sites, will be reviewed closely.  Other considerations include:

  •  Public safety interests,
  • Potential benefit to local, natural ecosystems,
  • Forest regeneration and,
  • Economic impacts to agricultural and private properties.

If the program expansion is approved, yellow and black “Park Closed” signs will be posted throughout and surrounding effected parks, at all park entrances and in surrounding communities, in advance of operations.

ATTENTION MOTORISTS: The months of October through December are the breeding season (the Rut) for deer, and this is when activity reaches an annual peak. Montgomery Parks urges residents and drivers to use caution as deer activity becomes more frequent and unpredictable. Please remember the following safety tips for driving in areas where deer live and travel.

Driver Safety Tips

  • Be alert for deer on or near roadways and take precautions.
  • Be aware that deer are most active from dusk through dawn.
  • Look for eye-shine along road edges.
  • Deer may travel in groups, so if you see one deer expect there to be others.
  • Pay attention to deer crossing signs; these signify areas where multiple accidents have occurred.
  • A collision with a deer can happen on any roadway in the county, but be particularly cautious in areas where you observe deer often and where woodlands run adjacent to the roadway.

 FY2016 Dates and Locations of Park Closure

M-NCPPC; Montgomery Parks Deer Population Management Programs

Lottery-Based and Cooperative Managed Deer Hunting Programs
[Parks Closed from Sunrise – Sunset]

October

  • 23 – Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)
  • 26 – Rachel Carson Conservation Park (Olney)
  • 28 – North Germantown Greenway (Clarksburg)/Great Seneca Stream Valley Park Unit 2(Gaithersburg)
  • 30 – Woodstock Equestrian Park (Beallsville)

November

  • 4 – North Germantown Greenway (Clarksburg)/Great Seneca Stream Valley Park Unit 2(Gaithersburg)
  • 7 – Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)
  • 9 – Rachel Carson Conservation Park (Olney)
  • 10 – Blockhouse Point Conservation Park (Darnestown)
  • 13 – Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)
  • 14 – Woodstock Equestrian Park (Beallsville)
  • 17 – Blockhouse Point Conservation Park (Darnestown)
  • 18 – North Germantown Greenway (Clarksburg)/Great Seneca Stream Valley Park Unit 2(Gaithersburg)
  • 21 – Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)
  • 23 – Rachel Carson Conservation Park (Olney)
  • 24 – Blockhouse Point Conservation Park (Darnestown)

December

  • 4 – Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)
  • 5 – Woodstock Equestrian Park (Beallsville)
  • 8 – Little Bennett Regional Park (Clarksburg)
  • 9 – Little Bennett Regional Park (Clarksburg)
  • 10 – Little Bennett Regional Park (Clarksburg)
  • 11 – Little Bennett Regional Park (Clarksburg)
  • 12 – Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)
  • 15 – Blockhouse Point Conservation Park (Darnestown)
  • 16 – North Germantown Greenway (Clarksburg)/Great Seneca Stream Valley Park Unit 2(Gaithersburg)
  • 18 – Black Hill Regional Park: 10 Mile Creek Segment (Boyds)
  • 18 – Bucklodge Forest Conservation Park (Boyds)
  • 18 – Little Seneca Stream Valley Park (Boyds)
  • 19 – Woodstock Equestrian Park (Beallsville)
  • 21 – Rachel Carson Conservation Park (Olney)

January

  • 2 – Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)
  • 8 – Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)
  • 9 – Woodstock Equestrian Park (Beallsville)
  • 15 – Black Hill Regional Park: 10 Mile Creek Segment (Boyds)
  • 15 – Bucklodge Forest Conservation Park (Boyds)
  • 15 – Little Seneca Stream Valley Park (Boyds)
  • 16 – Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)
  • 22 – Woodstock Equestrian Park (Beallsville)
  • 29 – Black Hill Regional Park: 10 Mile Creek Segment (Boyds)
  • 29 – Bucklodge Forest Conservation Park (Boyds)
  • 29 – Little Seneca Stream Valley Park (Boyds)
  • 30 – Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)

Park Police-Based Sharpshooting Program
[Parks Closed from 6:00PM – 6:00AM daily, January 10 – February 28]

  •  Agricultural History Farm Park (Derwood – including attached segments of Rock Creek Stream Valley Units 15 & 16)
  • Black Hill Regional Park [Day Use Area] (Boyds)
  • Cabin John Regional Park (Bethesda)
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Recreational Park (Silver Spring)
  • Muddy Branch Stream Valley Park Unit 1 (Darnestown/Travilah)*
  • Needwood Golf Course (Rockville)
  • North Branch Stream Valley Park Units 2 & 3 (Norbeck)
  • North Branch Stream Valley Park Unit 4 (Olney)
  • Northwest Branch Recreation Park (Aspen Hill – including Layhill Local Park in Wheaton)
  • Northwest Branch Stream Valley Park Unit 7 (Norwood)
  • Northwest Golf Course (Wheaton)
  • Paint Branch Stream Valley Park Units 5 & 6 (Silver Spring – including Pilgrim Hill Local Park, Valley Mill Special Park, Tamarack Neighborhood Park and Paint Branch Neighborhood Park)
  • Red Door Store Historical Cultural Park (Sandy Spring)
  • Rock Creek Regional Park (Rockville)
  • Rock Creek Stream Valley Park Unit 2 (Chevy Chase)
  • Rock Creek Stream Valley Park Unit 2 [expansion into area north of I-495] (Kensington)*
  • Rock Creek Stream Valley Park Unit 7 (Aspen Hill)
  • Sligo Creek Golf Course (Silver Spring)
  • Wheaton Regional Park (Wheaton)
  • Woodlawn Cultural Special Park (Sandy Spring)

Tenant-Based Managed Deer Hunting Program
 [Park Closed to Public Access Year Round]

 Goshen Recreation Park (Goshen)

* Proposed expansion initiative for FY2016

 For more information on the County’s deer management program see The Montgomery County Deer Management Program Annual Report and Recommendations for Fiscal Year 2016 which contains data on deer impacts and recommendations for the upcoming year. This and other information including a copy of the county’s deer management plan, and information on deer management operations, are available at www.ParksDeerManagement.org.

 

About Montgomery Parks Deer Management Program
The deer population reduction program began in 1996 following recommendations from the Montgomery County Deer Management Work Group (DMWG), and in response to citizen concerns about the deer population. Montgomery Parks’ conducts its deer management program with specially trained Park Police sharpshooters and qualified, pre-screened hunters to ensure the operations are carried out in a safe and humane way. More details about these programs, including specific details of the proposed expansions are available at www.parksdeermanagement.org.

 

About The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Montgomery Parks
Montgomery Parks manages more than 36,000 acres of parkland, consisting of 420 parks. Montgomery Parks is a department of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), a bi-county agency established in 1927 to steward public land. The M-NCPPC has been nationally recognized for its high quality parks and recreation services and is regarded as a national model by other parks systems. www.montgomeryparks.org