National Park Plans To Kill Elk Herd

elk.JPGRocky Mountain National Park has plans to use sharp-shooting snipers to reduce the population in the national park of elks in an attempt to balance the animal’s local population.

Sometime next month park officials expect to get approval for the plan. The plan includes killing up to 200 of the animals each year beginning in 2009.

The herd is believed to be descendants from a tiny transplan community brought down from Wyoming during World War I. The elk are a major tourist attraction but also a severe problem for park managers.

The numbers have climbed up above 3000 elk in some past years and park officials say this is almost twice the sustainable population for the area.

A park biologist has led a management study of the elk and has maintained that it is still unclear how many animals might have to be killed in any given year.

The plan also includes an extensive program of fencing ot protect the aspen and willow tree stands being eaten by the massive herd of elk overtaking the park.

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