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Gettysburg National Military Park announces plans to cull deer population

The Deer Management Plan affects both the National Military Park and the Eisenhower National Historic Site, park officials said Tuesday.

GETTYSBURG, Pa. — Editor's Note: The above video is from Feb. 4, 2019

The Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site announced Tuesday it will conduct lethal removal of white-tailed deer as part of the White-tailed Deer Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement from now through next March. 

"This action addresses the over-browsing of native vegetation and agricultural crops and is a management strategy that supports long- term protection, preservation, and restoration of critical elements of the cultural landscape and other natural and cultural resources while maintaining a deer population at both park units," the Park said in a press release. "The cultural landscapes of both park units are fundamental resources and critical to the interpretation of the events that took place at each park."

Because hunting is not permitted inside the two parks, only qualified federal employees will take part in the effort to manage the deer populations affecting the parks, the press release said. The United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services will be doing the work under an inter-agency agreement with the National Park Service.

The NPS closely coordinates all activities associated with implementation of the plan with the Borough of Gettysburg, surrounding Townships including Cumberland, Mount Joy and Straban, state law enforcement officials and with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the Park said.

In June of 2017, the Pennsylvania Game Commission designated a new Chronic Wasting Disease Management Area which includes a portion of Gettysburg National Military Park and all of Eisenhower National Historic Site. For this culling season, all culled deer will be tested for CWD regardless of which area they are taken from, the Park said.

Once negative CWD tests are confirmed, all venison will be donated to the Perry County food bank and the Everlasting Life Ministries food bank in Allentown.

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