April 5, 2007

Too Many Deer Damaging Forest Ecosystems, Agriculture. Dr. Timothy Schaeffer, Executive Director of Audubon Pennsylvania, a state office of the National Audubon Society, offers comments before the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee at a "listening session" in Lebanon, PA.
The over-browsing of Pennsylvania’s forests and agricultural areas by too many deer in too many places has eliminated thousands of acres of habitat for birds and other wildlife, and represents the largest single threat to bird habitat, after urban sprawl.
A study released in March by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources showed fewer than 25 percent of the 41,650 forest plots they looked at across the state showed desirable forest regeneration and almost 45 percent lacked any new, woody growth.
In the Lebanon area—the Conrad Weiser Forest District—the results are even worse. 59 percent of the 1,126 forest plots surveyed showed no forest regeneration and 28 percent showed regeneration with undesirable species.
A copy of the comments and recommendations submitted by Dr. Schaeffer to the Committee is available online.
For more information on the deer management issue, visit Audubon PA's website.