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Deer Culling is Underway at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Whitetale deer

The Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s deer-management program is underway. It’s the second year of a four-year program to reduce the park’s deer population.

The park is using U.S. Department of Agriculture sharpshooters to help control the deer population. It’s collaborating with the Cleveland Metroparks and Summit Metro Parks to collect and distribute the meat to local food banks.

Pamela Barnes is the community engagement supervisor at Cuyahoga Valley National Park. She says the park has considered alternative population-control methods.

“We did look into all of those kinds of non-lethal methods, and other parks in the national parks system did as well. They did find that those were less effective and more expensive for the taxpayer."

Park officials say deer overpopulation poses a safety risk to locals, and threatens plant life in the park.

Federal sharpshooters will be active in the park through mid-March. Complaints, comments and questions can be directed to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park hotline, at (440) 546-5975 for a reply within 48 hours.