Why don’t the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (DFW) and Indian Tribes as co-managers show any compassion at all for the health, safety and welfare of the elk and humans in eastern Skagit County? Why do they expect the landowners to put up with elk damages, provide free feed and bury their dead elk at landowners’ expense? Is it because they are more worried about the next grant and paycheck?
Why do we need to keep asking the DFW and Tribes to just obey the law? RCW 77.04.012 mandates that DFW manage the elk to not infringe on the rights of a private property owner to control the owners’ private property.
Why should local farmers lose $10,000 to $15,000 a year each from elk damaging their summer and winter feed crops and seed crops with no way possible to get compensation from DFW or Tribes? Why should the taxpayers of Skagit County have to be saddled with the cost of two sheriff elk-vehicle collisions within last 50 days, one a $55,000 vehicle totaled?
Why are the co-managers DFW and Tribes allowing the spread of elk hoof rot disease in the Skagit and Acme agriculture valleys? Watching elk suffer from hoof rot disease to where they become too weak to stand facing an agonizing death. Can livestock owners mismanage and treat their livestock in the same manner as the DFW and Tribes mismanage and treat elk? I don’t think so, the public would be outraged and livestock owners would be charged with inhumane animal cruelty.
Why are the co-managers allowing elk damages to agriculture crops, elk damages to homeowners with gardens and orchards, elk-vehicle collisions and a dramatic increase in elk populations in east county to escalate? Why don’t the DFW and Tribes just obey state law RCW77.04.012?
Sedro Woolley, Wash.