Appeals court upholds Valley Forge deer cull

    The hunt is on:

    A federal appeals court says the National Park Service can continue to use sharpshooters to reduce the number of deer at Valley Forge National Historical Park.

    The three-judge panel rejected arguments by two animal rights groups who said officials had failed to consider alternatives such as more coyotes.

    The Philadelphia Inquirer reports the judges said the park had decided on the culling operation after “a lengthy and reasoned review process.”

    Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Bernstein said the park service was gratified. Attorneys for the groups were not available for comment.

    Officials hope to reduce the white-tail deer population from an estimated 1,277 before the program began last fall to less than 200. They say the herd is devouring the native forest and crowding out other species.

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