Public Comments Wanted on Deer Management Plan

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The Pennsylvania Game Commission's Bureau of Wildlife Management is seeking public review of and comments on a plan to guide the agency's Deer Management Program through the year 2007.

"We're encouraging hunters and, indeed, all with an interest in the white-tailed deer, to review this new plan and forward comments to us no later than April 15," said Cal DuBrock, Game Commission Bureau of Wildlife Management director.

To view the full text of the deer management plan, go to the agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), click on "Wildlife," select "Deer in Pennsylvania," and then choose "Management Plan for White-Tailed Deer in Pennsylvania."

The agency will accept email comments sent to the link provided on the website. For those who wish to comment via U.S. Mail, send letters to: Pennsylvania Game Commission, Bureau of Wildlife Management, DEER MANAGEMENT PLAN, 2001 Elmerton Ave., Harrisburg, 17110-9797.

The public input process on the new Deer Management Plan started in July of 2002, when Dr. Marrett Grund, Game Commission wildlife biologist and a member of the Bureau of Wildlife Management's Deer Management Section, convened a meeting of stakeholders to discuss and suggest goals and objectives for the agency's Deer Management Plan.

During that meeting the stakeholder group identified six goals:

1. To provide public and private landowners with the deer management tools they need to achieve their land use objectives;

2. To increase recreational opportunities involving deer;

3. To reduce human/deer conflicts;

4. To improve the health and sustainability of the ecosystems;

5. To increase citizen understanding of healthy ecosystems and deer herds; and

6. To improve and maintain a healthy deer herd.

Key strategies affecting deer management - such as new wildlife management units (WMUs) and a Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) - were presented to and given preliminary approval by the Board of Game Commissioners during a January meeting.