National Lakeshore gets new deer management plan
Post-Tribune Staff report May 4, 2012 3:54PM
Updated: May 5, 2012 7:48PM
PORTER — The National Park Service is recommending a white-tail deer management plan for the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore that includes a combination of non-lethal and lethal methods, including sharpshooting, capture/euthanasia, and nonsurgical reproductive control of does.
The plan, meant to manage the deer population to protect the park’s habitat and biodiversity, considered four alternatives. Those alternatives included current deer management action, including fencing, limited use of repellents, and inventorying and monitoring efforts; a second plan, which also included non-lethal methods such as exclosures, greater use of repellants, and non-surgical reproductive control for does; the third plan offered the measures in the first two plans, as well as sharpshooting and capture/euthanasia; and a fourth plan, selected by the park service, which includes sharpshooting, euthanasia, reproductive control, and fencing and use of repellents.
The preferred alternative was selected because it would best protect, preserve, and enhance the natural processes needed to maintain a viable deer population within the National Lakeshore. The methods used involved the least uncertainty in implementation and could ensure an immediate reduction in deer herd numbers that could be sustained over the life of the plan.
A copy of the final plan is available online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/indu or you can request a hard copy or CD of the plan from: Randy Knutson, Wildlife Biologist, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, 1100 N. Mineral Springs Road, Porter, IN 46304-1299