This winter the Cuyahoga Valley National Park will be culling the deep population within the 33,000 acre park between Akron and Cleveland. Plans are to shoot 350 deer this winter. Professional sharp shooters will do this between January 1st and March 31st.
There has been a discussion about park deer population densities for a number of years. For every square mile of parkland, there are currently 40 deer. The goal over the next several years, is to drop this down to 23 per square mile.
Some people find this action disturbing- where else can deer be protected, is not a National Park Safe Ground?
Park officials and surrounding community officials have several reasons, including
- Improve the Forests and Bio Diversity by eliminating deer that eat newly growing tree saplings before they have a chance to grow from the forest floor. Without new seedlings, we will have no forests.
- Populations that are too dense can lead to the proliferation of Chronic Wasting Disease (wikipedia)– A fatal brain disorder in deer.
This plan isn’t a go yet, and still needs to be approved by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. So if you want to complain, take it up with them.
Deer meat will be stored pending Brain Disorder Testing before being processed and distributed to local food banks. Our local food banks do a great job- and I know meat is welcomed.
If you live in Peninsula or Boston Township and some edges of Cuyahoga Falls, Akron and Bath, get ready for some evening gun fire this winter.