HAGERSTOWN, Md. — The National Park Service is tentatively approving a plan to have government sharpshooters kill more than 2,800 white-tailed deer at three Civil War battlefields in Maryland and Virginia over the next five years.

The agency released its final Environmental Impact Statement Friday for the plan involving the Antietam and Monocacy battlefields in Maryland and the Manassas battlefield in Virginia.

The decision becomes final in 30 days barring unforeseen developments.

The plan is intended to reduce damage to forests and other vegetation.

It includes a combination of lethal and nonlethal measures to keep the deer herd in check. After the fifth year of shooting, the agency would use chemical contraceptives to maintain an acceptable deer density, assuming an appropriate reproductive control agent becomes available.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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