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Paula McDevitt, Administrator, City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department, 812.349.3711 or

Bloomington Parks and Recreation Hosts Deer Management Information Panel Aug. 1

Natural resources professionals to offer expertise and support for management of deer at Griffy Lake

Bloomington, Ind. - The Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department is hosting a Griffy Lake Nature Preserve Deer Management Information Panel Aug. 1 from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 401 N. Morton St. in Bloomington.

Three natural resources professionals have been invited to participate on the panel: Dr. Angie Shelton, representing Bloomington Parks and Recreation’s Environmental Resources Advisory Council; Allen Pursell, Director of Forest Conservation for the Indiana Chapter of The Nature Conservancy; and Anthony Sipes, Indiana State Parks Chief of Natural Resources.

Dr. Shelton will provide an overview of the plant data collected at Griffy Lake Nature Preserve and in surrounding forests this spring. Other panelists will discuss their experiences with deer management on the properties they manage.

The Board of Park Commissioners on July 18 heard the results of a deer browse pressure study conducted this spring at Griffy Lake Nature Preserve, and in other nearby forests. According to Bloomington Parks and Recreation Natural Resources Manager Steve Cotter, the results of the study show that six species of spring wildflowers are under a considerable amount of browse pressure by white-tailed deer.

“We as a parks and recreation department are responsible for managing the properties in our care to ensure all their benefits are here for future generations,” said Paula McDevitt, Administrator of the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department. “The goal of any wildlife management effort is to reduce the browse pressure on understory plant species and seedling trees to the point these species are able to recover.”

Griffy Lake Nature Preserve Deer Management Timeline
Summer 2008 - Griffy Lake Nature Preserve Master Plan notes, “The large deer population is stripping vegetation in the forest understory. This has destroyed plant and animal diversity in the most heavily browsed areas.”

December 2012 - Joint City of Bloomington-Monroe County Deer Task Force submits its final report, and recommends controlling the deer population at Griffy Lake Nature Preserve.

April 9, 2014 - City Council approves amendment to city code that would allow discharge of firearms during sharpshooting efforts to reduce the deer population at Griffy Lake Nature Preserve

April 17, 2014 - Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan vetoes ordinance that would allow sharpshooters to discharge firearms to cull the deer herd at Griffy Lake Nature Preserve

April 24, 2014 - City Council overturns mayoral veto

May 2014 - Board of Park Commissioners approves deer reduction plan to use professional sharpshooters to remove up to 100 deer from Griffy Lake Nature Preserve between November 2014 and February 2015

February 2015 - Deer cull plan cancelled when mild temperatures and significant acorn crop kept deer away from bait stations, reducing the program’s chance for success.

Spring 2017 - Bloomington Parks and Recreation vegetation specialists conduct plant height studies at Griffy Lake Nature Preserve, Morgan-Monroe State Forest and Brown County State Park.

July 14, 2017 - Environmental Resources Advisory Council (ERAC) submits letter of support for reducing the deer population at Griffy Lake Nature Preserve to the Board of Park Commissioners

July 18, 2017 - Deer browse pressure study data presented to the Board of Park Commissioners