Catoctin Mountain Review Essay

Catoctin Mountain Review Essay

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The National Park Service (NPS) and the U. S. Department of the Interior (USDI) drafted the Catoctin Mountain National Park Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) (2006) to impart knowledge of a need for action to facilitate the regeneration of vegetation and reforestation of the park. A population of white-tailed deer that was exceeding an estimated 100 individual animals per square mile was over browsing the vegetation. According to the EIS a population of 15 to 20 individuals is optimal to protect herd health and allow regeneration of the vegetation. The EIS listed four alternatives that were investigated in depth according to the National Environmental Protection Act requirements (FHWA, n.d.) these included full disclosure of estimated fiscal costs for each action. The EIS continued, offering multiple actions that were not investigated due to various documented reasons (NPS & USDI, 2006), including the dismissal of public hunting due to congressional legislation prohibiting public hunting in national parks and the unlikelihood of changing the legislation. After describing the alternative actions, the EIS offered the environmental effects of the proposed action alternatives. The cumulative affects were then discussed in great detail including but not limited to affects on socioeconomics, health and safety, and archeology.
Alternative A was the baseline required by NEPA, the no action alternative (FHWA, n.d.). This illustrated that the current actions were only protecting a few particular plants from over browsing, but does not address the underlying issue of over browsing due to the overpopulation of deer (NPS & USDI, 2006). Alternative B offered the use of large exclus...

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...nmental Impact Statement (EIS). (n.d.). Environmental Review Toolkit | FHWA. Retrieved May 12, 2011, from
Hothorn, T., & Müller, J. (2010). Large-scale reduction of ungulate browsing by managed sport hunting. Forestry Ecology and Management, 260, 1416-1423.
Michigan Department of Natural Resources (1999). Deer baiting issues in Michigan: Michigan Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division issue review paper 5. Michigan: Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
National Parks Service, & U. S. Department of the Interior (2006). Draft white-tailed deer management plan: Environmental Impact Statement Catoctin Mountain Park. Thurmont, Maryland: Nation Park Service.
Stankowich, T. (2008). Ungulate flight responses to human disturbance: A review and meta-analysis. Biological Conservation, 141, 2159-2173.

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