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Please protest deer slaughter plan in Washington D.C. park

November 13, 2012

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After learning that the National Park Service (NPS) announced plans to kill hundreds of deer this December at Rock Creek Park in Washington D.C., IDA joined forces with local D.C. residents to file suit in federal court to stop the NPS from taking this horrific action. Click here to read the Reuters report on our lawsuit, and click here to read the Washington City Paper story.

The NPS plan calls for luring hungry deer at night with food and then shooting them with high-powered rifles. In areas where deer might be close to residential homes, they would be killed with crossbows and arrows, to prevent gunfire from potentially injuring people. IDA’s suit seeks to immediately and permanently block this killing.

Rock Creek Park is a refuge of natural beauty nestled in the nation’s capital. Our lawsuit alleges that by choosing to kill native wildlife for the first time since the park was established in 1890, NPS is violating the law that created the park, which requires NPS to preserve wildlife in their “natural condition, as nearly as possible.”

This unprecedented and extreme approach to reducing the population of native wildlife is wholly unwarranted. The Park Service could have implemented less drastic ways to control the deer population, including fencing and contraception – which have successfully controlled wildlife populations elsewhere in the United States.

Our suit further alleges that the NPS failed to consider the impact of turning a tranquil oasis of wilderness in the middle of our nation’s capital into a killing field, and how this will destroy the character of this special place and the ability of local residents and visitors, including IDA’s members and supporters, to continue to enjoy it. Click here to read more in Washington DC’s The Northwest Current newspaper, and stay tuned for updates!


Click HERE for NPS’s online webform


Dear Officials,

National Park Service (NPS) announced plans to kill hundreds of deer this December at Rock Creek Park in Washington D.C. in a misguided attempt to reduce deer numbers in populated areas. Although this hunt is inherently cruel based on the premise alone, it is important to recognize it is based on erroneous information.

Please allow me to illustrate a few of these concerns. First, ecologically, populations will fluctuate according to conditions and naturally-occurring food sources; it is the interference of humans that causes imbalance. To blame and slaughter the deer for human encroachment is both irresponsible and unjustified.

Second, killing deer artificially increases food supplies to the remaining deer, the consequence of which is increased reproduction and an ensuing greater deer population. In fact, studies have demonstrated that the continual cycle of seasonal hunting is responsible for a rebound, or larger herd populations, in subsequent years.

Third, this type of mass killing using such a brutal type of slaughter in such a central and visible location would certainly adversely affect both visitation and tourism; it would be financially detrimental to continue with such a cruel and unnecessary killing, and although I do not currently reside in Washington D.C., I would be unwilling to consider it, or nearby, as a potential vacation destination if this deer cull continues.

Fourth, hunters often spend hours following bloody tracks before finding wounded deer, if they look at all. Many deer are not found, and their deaths are slow and painful. It can take weeks for them to succumb to their injuries. Families are then torn apart, and young and weak animals starve or die of dehydration.

Please instead examine alternative, non-lethal options such as fencing, fertility control, and relocation according to established protocols when using these methods, which have all proven successful in curtailing deer populations.

I know your time is limited and I want to thank you for your attention to this urgent matter; I look forward to a positive resolution to this situation.


manunkind too busy
playing god,
and in the process
destroying everything
and everywhere,
his misguided feet
have trod

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

6 Comments leave one →
  1. LoVegan permalink
    November 13, 2012 1:11 pm

    “I know your time is limited”: our tolerance too 😦
    Doing and sharing, thank you Stacey!


  2. karenlyonskalmenson permalink
    November 13, 2012 1:26 pm

    manunkind too busy
    playing god,
    and in the process
    destroying everything
    and everywhere,
    his misguided feet
    have trod


  3. November 13, 2012 5:42 pm

    Love the poem Karen so very true! Thanks for the alert Stacey ii sent the message and shared in several places thanks again Stacey youre the best!


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