Herald: Tribes react to damage control elk hunt

The Daily Herald reported on the tribal reaction to a damage control archery hunt last month in Concrete:

Damage-control elk hunts are a management tool that should be used only as a last resort, regional tribal officials said.

In a statement released Wednesday by the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, Point Elliott Treaty tribal officials said there are better ways to keep elk herds from damaging property.

For example, the Tulalip and Stillaguamish tribes have established two 6-acre parcels on private timber land in Skagit County where elk herds can feed. Invasive plants were pulled out and vegetation was planted for elk food. One parcel near Baker Lake already has provided food for more than 20 elk.

Damage-control hunts take down mostly cow elk, harming efforts of the state, tribes and nonprofit groups to rebuild regional elk herds elsewhere. In addition, the selective hunts provide only short-term relief from elk damage, said Todd Wilbur, chairman of the Inter-tribal Wildlife Committee of the fisheries commission.