Valley Forge park to thin deer herd

    A plan to thin the deer herd at Valley Forge National Historical Park is running into opposition by animal rights groups.

    A plan to thin the deer herd at Valley Forge National Historical Park is running into opposition by animal rights groups.

    Listen:
    [audio: 091113tmdeer.mp3]

    The plan would be to use sharpshooters to kill about 1300 deer in order to protect park vegetation and right size the herd. Christina Heister is Natural Resource Manager at the park. She says the deer are eating too much of the plant life at the park.

    Heister: We essentially have no shrubs left and have not had forest regeneration since 1995. Our long term monitoring also shows a significant decline in the number of different kinds of plants or the diversity of plants in the park.

    Animal advocacy groups have gone to federal court saying there is no reason to thin the herd, and people should respect the rights of the deer in the park.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.