Centralia Chronicle: New Elk Control Option Offered

From the Centralia Chronicle:

The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife has prescribed a solution for controlling the so-called South Rainier elk herd, considered a blessing by some in the East Lewis County area and burden by others.

The recommendation drew the ire of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, one of four tribes with hunting rights in the region. The tribe is currently heading up habitat improvement plans for the elk, both for their winter range and summer range. While some residents say there are too many elk, the tribe’s stance is that the South Rainier herd numbers at about 1,000, and remains fragile.

Puyallup Tribe wildlife biologist Barbara Moeller said the master hunt will represent a “two-for-one deal” for hunters, who risk killing female elk that are still nurturing young.

“We strongly recommended that they do not do it,” Moeller said. “We don’t think that they shouldn’t consider lethal response at all, but we wanted them to look at other options first.”