April 18, 2002
Contact: George Tsukamoto, (360) 902-2367
Comments on draft Yakima elk herd plan sought at public meeting
A draft plan for management of the Yakima elk herd will be the topic of a public meeting May 1 in Fife. The meeting is scheduled to run from 7 to 10 p.m., in the Jib Room at the Best Western Executive Inn, 5700 Pacific Highway E. in Fife. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) staff members will be on hand to take questions and comments on the draft herd plan. Once finalized, the plan would set direction for herd and habitat management for the next five years. The draft plan may be viewed on the department's website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/wlm/game/elk/yakima.htm on the Internet. The meeting, the third in a series of public feedback sessions on the draft herd plan, was scheduled to collect input from western Washington residents. The Yakima elk herd is one of the state's largest and healthiest but has been the focus of concerns over crop and orchard damage and nuisance problems. The draft plan proposes to reduce herd size by approximately 10 percent through permit hunting of antlerless elk. In addition to reducing herd size, the plan also proposes:
- Fence construction and improved fence maintenance
- Selected seasonal area closures and road closures to prevent elk from being harassed off public lands
- Habitat enhancements
- Land acquisition or conservation easements in key winter and transient elk ranges.