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Old 08-08-2011, 11:12 AM
Howard Hartman Howard Hartman is offline
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Default New County Deer Report Shows Deer-Vehicle Collisions Hold Steady

August 8, 2011

New County Deer Report Shows Deer-Vehicle Collisions Hold Steady

Community Complaints Continue in Developed Areas

SILVER SPRING, MD—Some of the negative impacts of deer in Montgomery County are being held at bay according to the Montgomery County Deer Management Work Group's new Fiscal Year 2012 annual report and recommendations for deer management.

"Implementation of long-term, effective deer management strategies is continuing to hold some of the negative impacts of deer in Montgomery County steady, but more efforts are needed in the future," said Rob Gibbs, chair of the Montgomery County Deer Management Work Group and Montgomery Parks Natural Resources Manager.

The report, released today, presents an overview of the county's deer management program, actions implemented since the program began in 1995, and lists specific recommendations for implementation in FY 2012, which began July 1, 2011. Recommendations include both non-lethal and lethal strategies including deer population management initiatives on public land.

As noted in the report, one indicator used to evaluate the effectiveness of deer management is the number of deer-vehicle collisions (DVCs) recorded annually by the Montgomery County Police Department. The total DVCs recorded for 2010 was 1,930.

Year DVCs reported by MCPD
2002 2,127
2003 2,047
2004 1,997
2005 1,969
2006 1,951
2007 1,867
2008 1,841
2009 1,945
2010 1,930

"Data collected around parks where deer management is being conducted has demonstrated a reduction in DVCs adjacent to those parks," added Gibbs. "However, accidents have likely continued to increase slowly in areas where management is not yet implemented."

Deer-vehicle Collision Data 1994 - 2010 (Source - Montgntgomery County Police Department)

Overall, DVC numbers remain more than 8 percent below the highest accident rates, which occurred in 2002 despite increases in total vehicle miles traveled in the county—approximately 10 percent more miles during the past decade
"We also know based on the data collected over a seven-year period around three parks, in particular, where deer management was being conducted that there was a significant reduction in DVCs adjacent to those parks," added Gibbs. "We believe that this trend has continued as we've expanded our program over the years, however, accidents have likely continued to increase in areas where management is not yet implemented. Additional management is recommended in this year's report."

The Montgomery County Deer Management Work Group works closely with federal, state and county agencies to address and reduce deer related impacts. More than 1,600 homeowners and landscape professionals have attended workshops held by the Maryland Cooperative Extension Service and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) to learn tips on landscaping, repellents, fencing and other methods of controlling deer damage around the home.

Managed deer hunting and Park Police-based sharpshooting have been used in 19 Montgomery County parks. Two state parks, three Washington Suburban Sanitation Commission (WSSC) lands and one Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Solid Waste Services property have also utilized managed deer hunting to reduce deer populations in locations experiencing a high level of deer related impacts.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources continues to implement changes to state deer hunting regulations in an attempt to increase the annual harvest of deer, with an emphasis on reducing populations where they are extremely high. The State Highway Administration and the Montgomery County Department of Transportation are investigating and implementing measures such as wildlife passages under new roads, public service announcements and information on County Cable Montgomery to reduce the occurrence of deer related automobile accidents.

"Collectively, these strategies are intended to help reduce deer-human conflicts countywide," said Gibbs. "Despite these efforts, though, some residents are still experiencing damage, especially in some down-county areas including Chevy Chase, Colesville, Potomac, Rockville, Olney and Silver Spring."

Deer management is much more difficult to implement safely in these down-county areas due to the smaller, narrower size of open space and parkland, the high density of adjacent houses, a high level of public activity and a lack of resources needed to address the challenges. The Work Group continues to investigate a variety of measures to control deer numbers in these more urbanized areas but it continues to challenge not only Montgomery County but suburban areas across the nation.

For more information about deer in Montgomery County and to find this year's annual report, visit below. Also, to comment on this report or arrange for a free workshop for your homeowner or community association on controlling deer damage, email or call 301- 962-1341.

Last edited by Howard Hartman; 08-13-2011 at 09:30 PM.
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