May 14, 2001
Contact: Rocky Spencer, (425) 888-9467
or Lora Leschner, (425) 775-1311, ext. 121
North Rainier elk herd plan to be reviewed during public meeting tomorrow
OLYMPIA– A draft plan for future management an elk herd on the western slopes of the Cascade Mountains will be presented for public review in a meeting at 7 p.m. tomorrow (May 15) at the Issaquah Police Station Rotunda Building, 130 E. Sunset Way.
The plan, developed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), addresses management of the North Rainier elk herd for the next five years. The plan addresses priority herd management activities and, when final, is intended to serve as a guideline for WDFW, tribes, landowners, other agencies and the public. Written comments on the draft plan will be accepted through May 31, and should be addressed to George Tsukamoto, Wildlife Program, WDFW, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia WA 98501-1091.
The elk herd, which occupies areas of Pierce and King counties in the foothills north of Mount Rainier, is dwindling in size.
The draft plan's primary goals are:
- Managing the elk for a variety of recreational, educational and aesthetic purposes, including hunting, scientific study, cultural and ceremonial uses by Native Americans
- Preserving, protecting and enhancing elk the and their habitat to ensure healthy, productive populations
Specific herd and habitat management objectives, problems, strategies and spending priorities are stated in the draft plan. The objectives include:
- Improving scientific data collection
- Increasing elk numbers in game management units 460 (Snoqualmie), 485 (Green River) and 653 (White River)
- Augmenting the herd by capturing elk from healthy populations in western Washington and releasing them in the Green River watershed.
- Managing hunting so that harvest does not exceed reproduction rates
- Promoting wildlife viewing opportunities
- Improving elk habitat
- Developing partnership opportunities to increase availability and improve quantity and quality of elk habitats.
The North Rainier elk herd draft plan may be viewed on the WDFW website on the Internet.