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Prevent Deer Damage In Parks

Jenn Smith

Posted on July 02 2020

There are over 419 national parks in the United States that draw in over 330 million visitors each year. While park and recreational areas do welcome guests, they do not appreciate the trash left scattered by people, ruining the appearances of parks; nor the destruction from white-tailed deer. While people can be better at being trashy, wildlife may not know what they are doing wrong. After all, they need to eat. Here's why we need to prevent deer damage in parks now:

When deer graze forests and open public land areas around national parks, they tend to indulge on native plants. Once the native plants are gone, only invasive plants, such as Japanese stilt-grass remain. This leads to a damaging effect to local animal communities that rely on these native plants for survival.

White-tailed deer also ruin the appearance of trees in parks and forests. By late summer, bucks will develop heavy and unsightly dried velvet on their antlers that is very uncomfortable. To prepare for mating season, deer will rub their antlers against trees to remove the dried velvet and mark their scent on trees to attract does. This rutting action leads to the cambium layer of the tree being stripped away (the layer that gives trees their nutrients) and begins in September and lasts throughout the Fall.

To prevent deer browsing and damage to our national parks, park conservation strategies should be developed with the inclusion of deer fencing and tree wraps around young trees. These deer management techniques will keep the appearance of parks and stop deer damage for 20+ years.  

July is National Parks and Recreation Month - Are you ready to prevent deer damage? Get involved in workshops and volunteer events at a local park today!