Petitions Sent to National Park Service To End Killing Of Wildlife In Rock Creek Park

Today we submitted two Petitions to the National Park Service on behalf of In Defense of Animals, the Washington Humane Society, and several local D.C. residents to halt any further killing of white-tailed deer in Rock Creek Park in our nation’s Capital.  The first Petition presents a new scientific analysis by Yale University forest ecologist Dr. Oswald Schmitz demonstrating that the data relied on by the Park Service as a basis for killing the deer last Spring do not demonstrate  that deer are having any adverse impact on forest regeneration in the Park.  The Petition also demonstrates that the real threat to the Park’s native vegetation is the increase in invasive exotic plant species that are migrating into the Park from neighboring landscaping and destroying the native vegetation, causing the native deer to leave the Park in search of food.  A copy of the Petition can be found here

The second Petition is a change.org petition signed by over 11,000 individuals who have asked the Park Service to stop killing the deer because this “will forever change the character of this very special national park in the midst of our nation’s Capital from a haven of peace and tranquility to just one more place of violence.”  A live copy of that Petition can be found here.

The Petitioners are requesting the Park Service to halt all further killing of the deer, especially when, under the sequester, the agency has been forced to eliminate or cut back much more justifiable and essential conservation programs throughout the country and even impose a hiring freeze.

Here are the additional exhibits:

Exhibit B        Jonathan Jarvis sequester testimony
Exhibit C        Environmental Impact Statement - Excerpts
Exhibit D        Final Internal Scoping Report for Deer Management in Rock
                        Creek Park
Exhibit E         2011 Krafft & Hatfield Study
Exhibit F         Declaration and Curriculum Vitae of Dr. Oswald Schmitz
Exhibit G        2010 Rutherford & Schmitz Study
Exhibit H        2005 General Management Plan
Exhibit I          2000 Resource Management Plan
Exhibit J         2004 Draft Invasive Exotic Management Plan
Exhibit K        2012 Hurley et al. Study
Exhibit L         1998 Stout Study
Exhibit M       1996 Management Plan
Exhibit N        Evaluation of Deer Management Options
Exhibit O        2001 National Invasive Species Council Management Plan
Exhibit P         Summary of Techniques to Control Exotic Invasive Plants
Exhibit Q        2004 Huston Study
Exhibit R        1996 Visitor Use Study
Exhibit S         Public Comments on Rock Creek Park Deer Management
                        Excerpts
Exhibit T         2013 Rutberg et al. Study
Exhibit U        Declaration and Curriculum Vitae of Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick
Exhibit V        Declaration and Curriculum Vitae of Dr. Allen Rutberg
Exhibit W       Wild News: 2013 Update on Nonlethal Sterilization
Exhibit X        Record of Decision, May 2012
Exhibit Y        Minutes of Science Team, March 2006
Exhibit Z         Fertility Proposal from The Humane Society of the United
                        States