Today, on behalf of a coalition of local DC residents and In Defense of Animals, we filed a Notice of Appeal of the district court’s ruling upholding the National Park Service’s decision to allow sharpshooters to decimate native deer in Rock Creek Park in Washington DC. This is the first time in the 123 year history of the Park that the federal government has allowed the killing of any native wildlife.
The number of deer in Rock Creek Park has been stable for at least ten years, and there is no urgent problem facing the Park that would warrant gunning down native wildlife in close proximity to residential neighborhoods. Even if there were a problem, it could be handled much more humanely with fertility control – a method that has worked to control wild deer and horses in other parts of the county. A petition asking the National Park Service to reconsider this shotgun approach to managing RockCreek Park has garnered more than 5,000 signatures.