The National Park Service is seeking public comments on a
draft plan to reduce the white-tailed deer population at the Indiana Dunes
National Lakeshore, with a deer kill coupled with non-lethal measures
included in its preferred alternative.
The deer management plan and Environmental Impact Statement
is available online at
The National Lakeshore will host an open house on the deer
management plan at the Visitor Center on March 12 from 5 to 8 p.m.
Informational displays about the plan will be available during the open
house. A 15-minute presentation will be given at 5:30 p.m.
The deer management plan and EIS
evaluate the following four possible management actions:
Alternative A: Continue current deer management actions
including limited fencing, limited use of repellents, and inventorying and
Alternative B: Include all actions under alternative A but
also incorporate non-lethal actions to reduce deer numbers. These would
include construction of additional small- and large-scale exclosures, more
extensive use of repellents in areas where fenced exclosures are not
feasible, and phasing in non-surgical reproductive control.
Alternative C: Include all actions described under
alternative A but also incorporate a direct reduction of the deer herd size
through sharpshooting and capture or euthanasia, where appropriate.
Alternative D: Include all the actions described under
alternative A but also incorporate a combination of specific lethal and
non-lethal actions from the other two alternatives. These actions would
include the reduction of the deer herd through sharpshooting,
capture/euthanasia, and phasing in of nonsurgical reproductive control of
The NPS said its preference, Alternative D, would best
protect the National Lakeshore while maintaining a viable deer population
because there would be little, if any, uncertainty involved with
implementing the selected methods to maintain low deer numbers. The NPS said
this alternative would also best protect the biological and physical
environment by immediately reducing deer herd numbers and sustaining the
population with proven methods over the life of the plan.
To submit a comment about the plan, go to
http://parkplanning.nps.gov/indu, and click on the appropriate
document. Individuals may also mail or drop off written comments to:
Superintendent, Attention: Randy Knutson, wildlife biologist; Indiana Dunes
National Lakeshore, 1100 North Mineral Springs Road, Porter, IN 46304-1299.
A hard copy and CD of the plan can also be obtained at that address.
The public comment period closes on April 24. Written
comments must be postmarked no later than that date.