The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) opened a public comment period Aug. 1, on a draft plan for future management of the North Rainier elk herd.
The North Rainier elk herd’s range encompasses portions of Pierce, King, Snohomish and Kittitas counties. This herd is an important resource that provides significant recreational, subsistence, cultural, aesthetic and economic benefits to Washington citizens.
“We’ve seen a healthy increase in this population since 2002,”said Larry Phillips, Region 6 Director. “That increase has been great for recreational opportunities, especially wildlife viewing and photography.”
Since the last herd plan was adopted in 2002, the population has increased from approximately 1,800 elk to 4,500. The draft plan proposes a population objective for the North Rainier Elk Herd of 4,850 elk.
“We are working to amend this plan to better manage this historic herd,” said Anis Aoude, WDFW Game Division Manager. “Once we receive your comments, we will work closely with tribes, landowners, land planners, and the public to finalize the plan that will guide management of the North Rainier herd into the future.”
State wildlife managers will also host a public meeting on Aug. 19 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Green River College Student Union Building (River Room) in Auburn (map attached).
Public comments are vital to this planning effort. The public comment period is open from Aug. 1, 2019 through Aug. 31, 2019. Public comments can be submitted online (visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NorthRainierElkPlan) or by mail to:
North Rainier Elk Herd Plan, Wildlife Program
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
PO Box 43200
Olympia, WA 98504
View the draft plan on WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/02092.
“The North Rainier elk herd is part of Washington’s history,” Aoude added. “We want your comments on this plan to help keep them here.”
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting, and perpetuating fish, wildlife, and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing and hunting opportunities.