Puyallup Tribe wants your signature to help save elk

Last fall, the Puyallup Tribe of Indians took a public stand against a proposal by the state of Washington to expand hunting on the fragile South Rainier elk herd.

Now, the tribe of Indians is asking for signatures to a petition to oppose the increase in harvest of female elk from the South Rainer herd near Packwood. The proposal would more than double the number of dead female elk from 35 to 79. The herd numbers fewer than 1,000 animals while the target population is more than 2,100, according to the tribal and state co-managers.

You can find the petition here.

From the tribe’s press release last fall:

“Information on the herd that we’ve gathered points to a population that is much smaller than previous estimates,” Moeller said. “The herd can certainly sustain hunting, but we should err on the side of caution. Once you reach the point where an elk herd can’t sustain itself, you’ll see a very dramatic population crash.” The tribe has also placed VHF and GPS collars on a study group of elk and plans to compile a more comprehensive report on the herd.

“Elk trampling a garden is not a good reason to doom an entire herd,” said Fred Dillon, the tribe’s Natural Resources Policy Representative. “These decisions should be based on clear scientific evidence, not public relations.”