I am writing to
you today out of concern for Hudson's natural ecosystems. These areas, specifically forests such as in Hudson Springs Park, are in danger of over-browsing by deer.
The high populations of white-tailed deer have caused a shortage of certain plant species, most importantly trees. The deer nibble at the saplings until there is nothing left, which is something locally known because the saplings in the high school's land lab are protected by mesh coverings. There are so many deer that overbearing quantities of trees have been decimated. Only older trees survive, which means the ecosystems are not growing a new generation of trees. The tree generations grow in layers, which are important for bird habitats and forest health. Also, the deer only eat certain species of trees, allowing only species that don't support wildlife to survive. The forests are slowly changing into low-quality landscapes that don't allow nature to flourish.
A solution to this issue is to decrease the deer population. Limiting the deer population would allow the ecosystems to recover as well as improve the health of the local deer. Studies have shown that when there are fewer deer in an ecosystem that is able to support them, the deer will be bigger, which is ideal for hunters. Hunting is a reasonable and traditional method for decreasing the population; it creates revenue as well as recreation and helps manage the populations. Bow hunting in the parks was banned this season, but in the future should be re-implemented, with limited permits, to control the high deer numbers.
Hudson has beautiful forested areas, and they deserve to be in the most pristine condition. Please think about managing the deer population so that Hudson's ecosystems are healthy and remain picturesque.
Susan Washko, Hudson