Roads to close for "deer reduction" in Rock Creek Park

11:16 AM, Jan 2, 2014   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- National Park Service officials want to warn drivers that there will be temporary night-time road closures Thursday through March 31 near Rock Creek Park.

Accoridng to officials, highly trained marksmen from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will conduct sharpshooting at night when the park is normally closed.

As part of a safety precaution the following road closures may be in effect from 9:30 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. through March 31:

Ross Drive, Ridge Road, Glover Road, West Beach Drive; Beach Drive at Parkside Drive; Wise Road; Beach Drive from the Maryland line to Broad Branch Road, from Broad Branch to Tilden Street, and from Tilden Street to Porter Street, NW; Grant Road, Joyce Road, Sherrill Drive, Bingham Drive, and Morrow Drive.

Park Service officials say the deer population has negatively impacted the park during the last two decades, eating many tree seedlings. The Rock Creek Park White-tailed Deer Management Plan 2012 Record of Decision calls for reducing the density of deer to support long-term protection, restoration of vegetation and more. According to officials, a deer population density of 15 to 20 per square mile is necessary.

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