Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fraser meets to solve elk problem

By Norma Brand

A meeting was held at the Fraser Community Center on Saturday, March 24 to find a solution to the elk problem rather than hunting them. Jeff Huber organized the meeting and Randy Hollibaugh assisted him during the discussion. A large group of Fraser and hilltop residents attended and participated in the meeting.

Two officers from the Department of Idaho Fish and Game were on hand to help with the discussion. The focus of the meeting was to put an end to the killing of pregnant elk cows.

The elk herd in the Fraser area has been a problem for the farmers. They gravitate to the wheat fields for food and cause damage to the crops. This meeting was focused on finding another solution to the problem rather than issuing tags for a “Depredation Hunt.” The tags for a hunt are issued by the Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game. Just because a hunt is set up, the Dept. of Fish and Game only issues a few tags at a time to see what effect that has on the damage that is done.

The elk herds have moved out of the canyons and onto the open fields for food and to keep away from the predators, to put it precisely, the wolves that have been reintroduced to the area.

The elk population in Idaho has continued to decline and this group is looking for ways to rebuild the herds and help the farmers as well.

One of the solutions was to form a group of volunteers to haze the elk when they become a problem. By keeping the herd on the move they won’t congregate in one area and cause so much damage.

It’s always a thrill to see a herd of elk, and we as a community need to make every effort to protect them as well as help out the farmers. We all live together, so let’s work toward a solution that benefits everyone

If you would like more information on this you can contact Jeff Huber at 208-435-4177.

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