Monday, August 27, 2007

That's a lotta elk

Where have all these elk been hiding?

From the AP:
State wildlife officers say the Bears Ears herd of elk is 2-3 times as large as they thought. They say the herd has 23,000 to 45,000 elk.

The new count is based on a spring survey of elk herd ranges using three helicopters and one airplane.

Some northwest Colorado landowners had complained for years that the DOW elk estimates were faulty.

“There’s way too many elk in some places,” rancher John Smith said. “They move into these meadows too early and rub out the growth. They kill the edible brush.”

At a meeting last week, rancher T. Wright Dickinson told wildlife officers they have an obligation to make sure elk range is protected, just as ranchers are expected to make sure cattle range isn’t overused.

“You need to survey for the health of the range. It can’t handle the numbers (of elk) it has now,” he said.

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