Catoctin Mountain Review Essay

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The National Park Service (NPS) and the U. S. Department of the Interior (USDI) drafted the Catoctin Mountain National Park Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) (2006) to impart knowledge of a need for action to facilitate the regeneration of vegetation and reforestation of the park. A population of white-tailed deer that was exceeding an estimated 100 individual animals per square mile was over browsing the vegetation. According to the EIS a population of 15 to 20 individuals is optimal to protect herd health and allow regeneration of the vegetation. The EIS listed four alternatives that were investigated in depth according to the National Environmental Protection Act requirements (FHWA, n.d.) these
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This alternative would reach the goals through the length of the plan. The reduction in deer population would not be rapid and regeneration would be seen mostly in the exclusions until the population had diminished and the plan cost is over $9.5 million. The preferred alternative, alternative C was comprised of the continuation of alternative A with the use of sharpshooting and the subduing and euthanization of deer to rapidly reduce the population to the goal range in three years. Through this alternative the goals would be meet in a relatively short time frame at a cost between $738,600 and $941,100. The final alternative, alternative D also continued alternative A with the combination of sharpshooting, euthanization, and reproduction control. Alternative D would meet the goals of the plan in a similar time frame as alternative C with a cost of between $1.4 and $1.6 million.
Rejected alternatives:
Several alternatives were rejected for various reasons. The first rejected alternative was a managed hunt, for the need of legislation change in congress to allow a hunt on NPS land and possible cost and safety issues. A second was sterilization of bucks, which would only show moderate control of the population if the dominant buck were sterilized. Predator reintroduction was next rejected, because studies have shown that predators have not shown consistent

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