NEWS FROM THE PARK

The Washington Times Daily - - NATION -

The Na­tional Park Ser­vice has do­nated 1,300 pounds of fresh veni­son to DC Cen­tral Kitchen, a non­profit that pre­pares meals for shel­ters and tran­si­tional hous­ing in the na­tion’s cap­i­tal. The do­na­tion fol­lows the “safe and suc­cess­ful re­moval of 36 deer” from Rock Creek Park, which es­sen­tially runs through the cen­ter of the city.

The fed­eral agency says it “must bal­ance the needs of all the an­i­mals and plants” in the 2,000-acre park, also home to foxes, coy­otes, beavers and “the largest den­sity of rac­coons in the United States,” the agency says. The Na­tional Park Ser­vice notes that a deer pop­u­la­tion den­sity of 15-20 per square mile re­sults in “a healthy, di­verse for­est.” In the last three years, the agency has re­duced the num­ber from 80 per square mile to an es­ti­mated 19.

“Bi­ol­o­gists, who are also highly trained firearms ex­perts from the U.S. Depart­ment of Agriculture, work un­der the di­rec­tion of Na­tional Park Ser­vice re­source man­age­ment spe­cial­ists and in co­or­di­na­tion with U.S. Park Po­lice and lo­cal law en­force­ment to con­duct re­duc­tion ac­tions at night when the park is nor­mally closed,” the agency noted.

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