Public Meeting Oct. 15 on Expanded Deer Management at Soldiers Delight N.E.A. of Maryland

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Figure 1. Map of proposed SDNEA Managed Hunting Area.Owings Mills, MD — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources invites people to discuss a proposed expansion of deer management at Soldiers Delight Natural Environment Area (N.E.A.) on Wed., Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of New Town High School, 4931 New Town Boulevard in Owings Mills.

Soldiers Delight Natural Environment Area, located near Owings Mills in Baltimore County supports the largest remaining serpentine ecosystem in the eastern United States. Home to more than 30 rare, threatened, or endangered species scientists have long regarded this ecosystem to be globally significant in biodiversity.

DNR biologists report that deer continue to damage the habitat and natural communities threatening the fragile ecosystem found on Soldiers Delight through repeated browsing and trampling of native plants.

“Additional reduction of this deer herd will reduce deer impacts on the ecosystem and allow habitat restoration efforts to progress,” said Karina Stonesifer, Associate Director of Operations for DNR’s Wildlife and Heritage Service.

Limited bow hunting has occurred on the property for the past two years but additional deer population reduction measures are needed to further reduce the current deer population. The expanded program would be conducted on January 20 and 21, 2009 as a limited two-day shotgun-only format following the same guidelines as similar management strategies conducted in Maryland State Parks over the last 15 years. The entire Soldiers Delight Natural Environment Area would be closed to the public over those two days.

To view the plan and offer comment visit: http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/SoldiersDe/SD_MgHuntProp.asp Directions: From I-795, take the Owings Mills Blvd. south ramp toward Town Center/Randallstown. Merge onto Owings Mills Blvd. and turn right onto Lakeside Blvd. Turn left onto New Town Blvd. into the New Town High School parking lot.

For more information about Soldier’s Delight N.E.A. visit http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/central/soldiers.html.