PDN: Jamestown Tribe Seeks Volunteers for a ‘Virtual Fence’ for Elk

The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe is seeking volunteers to help with the Dungeness Valley Roosevelt Elk herd that resides in the Sequim area.

A recent article in the Peninsula Daily News explains the project, which is a collaborative project between the tribe, its co-manager Washington State and the nonprofit organization Eyes In The Woods.

From the story:

It’s called the Northeast Olympic Roosevelt Elk Project, and Eyes is collaborating with the state and with the Jamestown S’Klallam tribe, which are the elk herd’s co-managers.

Its aim is simple: keep as many elk as possible on their historical range on the south side of Highway 101.

The Dungeness herd of Roosevelt elk includes a band of more than 20 animals on the south side, said Tim Cullinan, the Point No Point Treaty Council biologist hired by the Jamestown tribe to study and monitor the herd.

Employed by cattle ranchers in Australia, this animal management system uses collars with global positioning systems to track a herd’s location.

If the cows move toward land they shouldn’t, the programmable collars alert the ranchers, who can go out and herd them back where they belong.

Cullinan said he and McMillan won a $33,675 state grant in 2009 for an elk-GPS project, and arranged to work with Eyes in the Woods volunteers through this spring, summer and fall.

“We’re going to start out with just three collars,” Cullinan said. “We’ll try to get adult females.

“They’re the ones who make the decisions on where the herd will go.”