Thursday, July 26, 2007

CALIFORNIA NEWS: Efforts to Save Point Reyes Invasive Deer Renewed

Just as officials planned to hire hunters to thin out non-native deer at Point Reyes National Seashore, Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey came to the deer's defense this week.
Woolsey said she wants officials to kill fallow and axis deer, and sent a letter to park Superintendent Don Neubacher asking that the plan be halted.
Woolsey said a committee should be formed to study alternatives.
The National Park Service said in August 2006 it preferred lethal and contraception methods after reviewing a final environmental impact statement that listed five alternatives to protect native black-tailed deer and tule elk populations threatened by foreign deer in the national seashore.
"Although the park service has gone through a lengthy process to arrive at this point, I believe there is more that could be done before lethal removal is implemented," Woolsey wrote. "There is no urgency to move forward."
Contracts for culling the non-native deer - which biologists said have run roughshod over the park's ecosystem - have been signed and could be launched within weeks, park officials said.
The axis and fallow deer are transplants from Southern Asia and Europe respectively, that were brought to the Point Reyes National Seashore in the 1940's, according to the Marin Independent Journal.
The deer will be eliminated by 2021 under the plan.


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