Letter: Washington elk need management

Estimates indicate there is over $303,000 in elk-caused damages each year to over 30 agriculture-related properties.

Published on March 7, 2018 5:55PM

Why did Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) and Commission release proposed North Cascade Elk Herd Plan (NCEHP) without legal public notice in local newspapers or DFW’s website?

Why has DFW and the tribes proposed to enlarge NCEHP habitat area to include all of Skagit County’s agricultural, rural lands and residences and cities/towns from Padilla Bay and Shorelines east to I-5 without Skagit County and city/town officials’ knowledge? With a major plan area expansion why would DFW think they could bypass a full legal environmental impact statement process? The current NCEHP area is east of I-5 and north of Highway 20. Why is there no evidence or data provided showing need for expansion?

Farms and homes south of Highway 20 not included in NCEHP suffer most elk caused damages. Estimates indicate there is over $303,000 in elk-caused damages each year to over 30 agriculture-related properties in the east county, another $234,000 in damages caused by elk to over 579 home residences each year, not counting 75-90 elk-vehicle collisions.

State law RCW77.04.012 mandates DFW not allow elk to infringe on the right of private property owners to control owners private property. Why doesn’t DFW/Tribes just obey state law?

Why has DFW/Tribes failed to include any survey of residences damaged by elk?

Why doesn’t NCEHP address the seriousness of elk spreading hoof rot? How does DFW/Tribes plan to immediately stop spreading of hoof rot to our dairy and livestock farms? Why is solution to this deadly animal cruelty not addressed in plan?

Why does DFW/Tribes continue to rely on farmers to feed their mismanaged elk herds that now reside on agriculture farmlands without compensation?

Doesn’t this Nov. 2017 NCEHP draft demonstrate DFW/Tribes complete lack of knowledge and ability to manage elk? Are high school animal science classes needed for DFW?

Randy Good

Sedro Woolley, Wash.


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