Deer Eating Away at Forests Nationwide
Deer eat away future forest
Today’s high deer population may shape how the country’s forests look decades from now. The animals are reducing the number of trees and seedlings and affecting which species will survive, forestry experts say.
In the 14,000-acre Letchworth State Park in western New York, a 1,200-acre “safety area” for recreation where hunting is forbidden has seen vast damage from overbrowsing by deer.
“There are no saplings, no underbrush for ground nesting birds,” said Richard Parker, regional director of the Genesee State Park Region. “There will be no regeneration of the forest. In 40 to 50 years, as the current forest dies, there will be nothing to replace it.”
The deer are “eating anything and everything that’s there,” he said.