Statement from the Committee (April 2009)

Over the past several years, members of the Swarthmore College Crum Woods Stewardship Committee have given considerable time and attention to the damaging consequences of an overabundance of deer on the ecosystem of the Crum Woods, and have carefully considered solutions to the problem. Information about the research that has been undertaken, the deer management options that have been considered, and a description of the consultative process that has helped inform the Committee and College's decisions is available online.

The Committee considered a wide range of options for deer management, including contraception, fencing, and trap-and and-transfer, among others. Ultimately, it concluded that the only way to reduce the deer population to a sustainable size in a safe, humane, forest-science-based, and socially responsible manner was to conduct a cull. Other nearby communities that have conducted deer culls include the Wissahickon Valley, Pennypack, and West Fairmount Parks.

During the 2007-08 academic year, the College leadership accepted the Committee's recommendation to conduct a cull in the Crum Woods to manage the deer population. The College then applied to the Pennsylvania State Game Commission for a permit to conduct a cull.

This spring, the Game Commission responded to the College's request and indicated that there had been a change in the relevant regulations since the College applied for its permit. The Commission's new rules and regulations require all private landholders and municipalities to allow hunting in conjunction with any cull.

Members of the Crum Woods Stewardship Committee will present this new information to the Board of Managers at its meeting this weekend. Members of the Committee, along with a representative from the Pennsylvania Game Commission, will also discuss the regulations and the implications for the College's deer population management plan at two public forums to be held on campus.

All members of the College and local community are invited to attend the public forums, which will take place on Wed., May 6, at noon in Science Center 101 and at 7 p.m. in Scheuer Room of Kohlberg Hall.

The Committee will continue to engage the community in a consultative decision making process to arrive at a decision of how to best proceed, in light of the new regulations. All views on the new state-mandated regulation to conduct a hunt in conjunction with a cull are welcome and will help inform the next steps the College will take to help preserve the ecosystem of the Crum Woods.

If you have any questions, concerns, or comments, please address them to

Jeff Jabco and Colin Purrington
Co-Chairs of the Crum Woods Stewardship Committee