The goal of the "lethal reduction efforts" is to reduce the population by 100 deer by the end of March, said Tara Morrison, superintendent of Rock Creek park.
The current population of about 330 deer has damaged the park's vegetation and prevented the forest from growing, Morrison said.
“Over the last 20 years, an overabundant white tail deer population has negatively impacted rock creek park," she said.
During the next few months, marksman from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services will go out into the park at night, but "specific dates, times and locations of actions will not be announced, Morrison said.
But during the hunts, roads will be closed.According to people protesting at the park, there have been two rounds of killing since Jan. 2.
Members of Save The Rock Creek Park Deer stood at the edge of the park on Sunday to protest the killings.
On the organization's Facebook page, it advocates for a non-lethal solution to the deep population: reproductive control, a method being tried in Fairfax City, Va.
"Let’s keep Rock Creek Park safe. Let’s save the Rock Creek Park deer," the organization says.
In March 2013, 20 deer were killed during a period of deer reduction. Morrison said that provided more than 600 pounds of venison to D.C. Central Kitchen, a nonprofit that distributes food to homeless shelters, low-income families and other nonprofits.
The National Parks Service will also donate the venison from this round of reduction.
"All suitable venison will be donated to food banks or homeless shelters in the Washington D.C. area," Morrison said.
What do you think of the NPS efforts to reduce the deer population in Rock Creek Park? Please respond in the comments.
Possible temporary road closures are as follows, courtesy of the District Department of Transportation:
From 6:30 pm to 4:00 am:
- Ross Drive
- Ridge Road south of Grant Road
- Glover Road south of the Rock Creek Park Horse Center
- Horse Stable Road
From 9:30 pm to 4:00 am:
- Beach Drive North of Broad Branch Road
- Wise Road
- The entire length of Glover Road
- The entire length of Ridge Road
- Grant Road
- Sherrill Drive
- Joyce Road
- Morrow Drive
- West Beach Drive at Parkside Drive
- Stage Road
- Bingham Drive, NW