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Spare the Deer; Don't Spoil Valley Forge Park!

July 31, 2009 | Hunting & Wildlife Management / Take Action / Environment / Deer

Event facts: Join Friends of Animals and CARE on Saturday, 1 August and Saturday, 22 August 2009, 2:30-5:30 p.m. at Valley Forge Park, Pennsylvania, lower Welcome Center Parking Lot (common 1st A area), to oppose a plan to massacre the deer. The Park plans to kill 80% of them. We say: Let The Deer Be. For more about our message, click below to read the full alert.

30 July 2009

Philadelphia, Penn. , US - Two advocacy groups, Friends of Animals ("FoA") and local group Compassion for Animals, Respect for the Environment ("CARE"), will hold a permitted public vigil to address the National Park Service's issuance this week of its final Environmental Impact Statement for Valley Forge National Historical Park.

In early 2009, Park officials were joined by the state Game Commission to persuade the public to accept agents from the U.S. Department of Agriculture coming in with rifles and silencers to kill the vast majority of the deer over the next four winters. Then they say they'll spend future years controlling the deer with a lab-created birth control substance. This week, the government confirmed these expensive, intrusive and violent plans.

The main reason for the federal agency's proposed war on the deer is the conservation of native plant species in the five-mile Valley Forge Park.

"A disingenuous excuse," said Randi Milgram, Legal intern for Friends of Animals, who is working with a team of attorneys to file a lawsuit on behalf of the two advocacy groups in support of the deer of Valley Forge.

"This is not your founding fathers' Valley Forge," Milgram said.

"Today it's built up and commercial. The park officials don't say it's 'unacceptable' to keep increasing concrete in and around the Park in recent years. 'Unacceptable' is a word they conveniently reserve for deer."

Friends of Animals' local chapter director Leila Fusfeld expressed appreciation for the work of the University of Denver Environmental Law Clinic, who will lead the litigation.

"We are all for the presence of songbirds and natural vegetation. We are challenging the Park's deer-control proposal based not only on our respect for the deer, but our respect for the entire biocommunity." Fusfeld said.

"Since 2003, as reported in The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Valley Forge Park deer population has decreased." *

Friends of Animals' Pennsylvania members and supporters are speaking up for Valley Forge Park as a rare safe spot for animal life in the midst of suburban shopping malls and road construction. FoA supporter Mary Stephens supports Alternative A -- no action against the deer.

"If the assault does occur," said Stephens, "We will never spend a day there again. I could not enjoy myself knowing I am standing in a killing field splattered with blood from innocent and beautiful deer."

Support the animals of Valley Forge by meeting us there! Rt. 23 and North Gulph Rd., Valley Forge , PA 19406 Map

The SEPTA Bus Route 125 goes to the Valley Forge Welcome Center. Map PDF Carpooling from Philadelphia is also available through contacts on this release.

*Jeff Gammage, "Valley Forge Park Plans Huge Deer Shoot" (Sun, Feb. 15, 2009) at B1.

For more background about our work on this internationally important issue, click here.

If you would like to donate to Friends of Animals and support our work dedicated to defending the safety and dignity of the deer and other animals, click "donate" on the tab at the top of this webpage. You'll receive our thanks and a tax receipt. Donations are tax-deductible.


I hope the park comes to its senses. The deer and other wildlife are living respectfully in the park. The damage caused by the one million+ human visitors per year and surrounding development and traffic is another story.

Are you people crazy for killing the wolves off!! For One Thing your god dam stupid to, 2nd, why are you killing them off for?? ok fine lets kill off human kind to! This is like war between us and the wolves! The last time i knew there was no war between us and the wolves! There's a war between humankind and humankind, so how about you leave those wolves a lone and fix our war and then try to think a better why to help us and the wolves by not killing them! Am I the only person who love wolves more than you do?? The wolves are like us, they have a life to live, a family to take care of, and a lot more other wolves to feed, so if you think lets kill the wolves, you have to get through me and my wolf friends, because we wont let you kill us or my wolves, so if YOU dont mind STOP KILLING OFF MY WOLVES and put them SOMEWHERE SAFE and to BE FREE of all the PEOPLE WHO HATE WOLVES and make IT A BETTER PLACE FOR ALL OF US EVEN THE WOLVES WOULD AGREE WITH ME HERE, so would you think about it, and i'm only 13 telling you what to do and why are you doing this? from, Wolf Girl

The population we need to control is our own. We're the ones encroaching on the deer's territory because we seem to be completely unable to set any boundaries for ourselves. We are totally self centered and have absolutely no respect for anything other than ourselves like the deer; the whole planet for that matter. It just sickens me. Mankind is the most dangerous animal. I hope people wake up to this fact soon and begin to preserve the beauty all around us before it is too late.

I agree wholeheartedly. The population we NEED TO CONTROL is OUR OWN! Why,when we are capable of the most amazing loving gestures, do we settle for committing the most horrific of deeds? It is beyond me.There seems to be sooo many kind and decent people in the world, yet horror after horror seems to happen on an almost daily basis. I am sooo fed up/dissappointed.This situation demands we step out of our comfort zone and do what we know is right!

Why hasn't the Government and Governmental Departments learned that NATURE does not need to be fixed. I have yet to see a case where humans have tried to fix what is perceived as a problem in nature, where the human solution has actually fixed the human perceived problem!!!!! What usually happens is the alleged solution actually does create a problem in nature, where there is no workable solution!!!! I wish government funded environmental departments and their workers would just let nature take its course. Nature will naturally adjust its self over time. Thereby taking care of what humans see as a problem. Humans should learn from nature and change with the natural environment. This perceived problem is on in which some humans believe the deer are too many and pose a danger to certain native plant species! How absurd is that????? If we allow Nature to take it's natural course. Then those certain Native Plant Species will evolve over time and survive. And that is Natures way of preserving the natural balance of the environment. If there are too many deer, then nature will take care of that too. Some deer will die, naturally, and as the number of mature deer dwindles, so does the number of deers giving birth. And that is the natural way of balancing the number of deer within the environment. Just look at all the current screw-ups these brilliant federal agencies are responsible for. Solutions to fix alleged problems in nature. The importation of the Asia Carp to control some imbalance (not really sure what that was?) in the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. That brilliant solution have created a very real problem in both these rivers, and currently there is no successful solution to fix this man made problem. Then there was the brilliant idea of how to fix the alleged problem of an over population of the North American Hedgehog(Porcupine). The human solution... import Fisher-cats from the Southern Appalachians. Because Fisher Cats are the only known natural enemy of Hedgehogs. And so now there is an over abundance of Fisher cats, because these animals soon realized there was an abundance of easy prey. Such as house pets. And there is no known solution that will fix this screw up. The above two incidents are just two examples of how Federal agencies involved in the preservation of our Environment actually cause problems in Nature, when they try to fix what they perceive as a problem with nature. LEAVE NATURE ALONE!!!! It is the most powerful force on earth, and if we keep screwing it up, Nature will take care of us, quite possibly with the extinction of all Humans!

The insidious plan to unleash hell on deer at Valley Forge NH Park is shameful. The park must not be ruled by violence. Cesar Chavez, civil rights and labor leader once said, "...Only when we have become nonviolent towards all life will we have learned to live well ourselves." The epidemic of violence against deer must end.

I presume that the United States Department of Agriculture's wildlife killing specialists have their big guns at the ready to mow down deer at Valley Forge N H Park. They are the largest contract killing agency in the country, obliterating millions of so-called nuisance animals annually. Philadelphia's Fairmount Park has been under assault by them for the past 9 consecutive years of killing deer. Careful monitoring has revealed some improper conduct during their deer killing operation in Philadelphia. Be forewarned. Martha Gellhorn, journalist and novelist once said, "Never believe governments, not any of them, not a word they say; keep an untrusting eye on all they do."

I don't know if my comments will be screened for assuming the role of devil's advocate, but here is a challenging opinion. The causes of death for most deer in parks, such as mentioned above, are generally not of natural causes. In a natural environment deer do not generally die of starvation due to overpoplutation, because there are natural predators to reduce the population and create a sustainable environment. Although deer in a natural-wild environment do generally meet their death at the hands of hunter, it is important to keep in mind that humans are also predators by default of being at the top of the food chain.

John, note that there are natural predators living in the Valley Forge Park -- coyotes being the most capable. In pairs and teams they are able predators of deer (and even elk, in parks where elk exist). So we also need to let the coyotes be. Unfortunately, the state game commission allows a year-round season for stalking and killing coyotes. This should change.

Met Lee and the other folks at the park last month. Good to see someone standing up for the deer. I have lived in SE Pennsylvania all my life. When I was a kid Valley Forge was the only place to see deer. Now they are everywhere. The top deer predator in SE Pennsylvania is not the hunter or the coyote. It's the SUV.


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