Saturday, May 21, 2005

Another Reason to Rethink Deer Hunting

Earlier in this blog's existence, I made the argument that we needed to get over identifing deer with Bambi and manage the population more intensively through increased hunting. This despite the fact that I loathe the NRA and that most gun nuts are intolerable. Here's another reason to support increased deer hunting. From this NY Times article on the decline of wildflowers in our nation's forests:

"In places that have had very limited or no deer hunting, native plant losses are four times greater than those open to deer hunting," Dr. Rooney said. "The deer population has been growing steadily since the 1960's. They are having a profound effect on the spring ephemerals and other wildflowers."

Since we eliminated wolves from most of America's forests, deer populations have skyrocketed to the point that they are pests in many ways. Unless we plan to reintroduce wolves in large numbers, something I am glad to support but which is politically impossible, we have to take the role of lead predator in order to manage our forest ecosystems in a more responsible way.