One of GFCA's missions is to improve and sustain the beauty and health of our local ecology. For some time, the destruction of our natural woodlands caused by the overpopulation of deer herds unconstrained by any predators has been a local concern.
During 2014, GFCA's EPT (Environment, Parks, Trails) Committee explored forest health and deer overpopulation. Experts spoke at Town Hall and committee meetings about how unconstrained deer herds consume not only the forest 'understory' - robbing the woods of brush and plants which support a range of other life (such as birds) - but also eat the saplings of mature trees robbing the forests of the ability to reproduce. Without action, this will lead to our forests eventually becoming plains as the old trees die off. Rodents and other small creatures who can be carriers of disease - both animal and human - thrive in the stripped understory. And the deer population, without natural predators, will simply continue to expand until the food supply - both natural and planted by man - is consumed at which point they will starve in large numbers. The problem is not denial of habitat; state game experts testified that in fact deer prefer suburban development which borders on woods, calling them "cafeterias" for deer. In addition to forest destruction, the deer herds are causing yards to be stripped of valuable plants and are a danger to cars and drivers.
This page is a public resource to residents who are interested in learning more about the problem, and what may be done about it.
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