From In Defense of
Last week we told you about our lawsuit in the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia to stop the National Park Service (NPS) from killing over 100 white-tailed deer in Rock Creek Park in Washington D.C. Rock Creek Park is a refuge of natural beauty nestled in the nation's bustling capital.
As a result of IDA's lawsuit, filed with several D.C. residents, the NPS agreed to drop its plans to use sharpshooters to bait and kill deer in Rock Creek Park. Instead, the NPS agreed to not kill any deer pending the Court's resolution of our claims, and asked the Court to rule on the matter by March 15, 2013.
The NPS plan called for luring hungry deer with food and then shooting them with high-powered rifles. In areas close to homes, the deer would be killed with crossbows and arrows, which can result in a slow and painful death. Since the plan is dependent upon winter weather for scarce food supply and easy visibility when the leaves are off the trees, a postponement to March 15 will likely delay any plans to kill deer for at least a year.
Our suit alleges that by choosing to kill native wildlife for the first time since the park was established in 1890, NPS is violating the law that created the park, which requires NPS to preserve wildlife in their "natural condition, as nearly as possible." We expect that the NPS' decision to kill half of Rock Creek Park's 313 deer will be declared unlawful and stopped permanently. In the meantime, none of the 157 deer slated for death by gunfire or arrows will be killed.