Moving herd expensive, but might be only option

Second of three parts

SEQUIM — Wanted: People with trailers to transport elk out of Sequim.

Moving a herd of about 80 animals is an expensive project, says Scott Chitwood, natural resources director for the Jamestown S’Klallam tribe.

But it’s something he and Tribal Council officials advocate to ensure the animals’ survival.

A city hearing is scheduled this morning to discuss the tribe’s recommendation that Sequim’s herd of Roosevelt elk, which has become a symbol of the Sequim community, be captured and sent elsewhere.

Possible relocation sites include the Sol Duc area in western Clallam County due to the herd’s ongoing conflicts with area farmers.

Tribal officials said this week that removing the herd may be the only way to prevent a “slow death” as suburban development continues to take over elk habitat.

Sequim’s identity has become linked to the elk, with two metal bull-elk sculptures at both ends of the city on U.S. Highway 101.

Many residents enjoy seeing the elk, and flashing “elk crossing” signs are triggered by elk that wear special radio collars.

But, says Chitwood, it’s now obvious that “Sequim’s urban growth plan does not accommodate elk.”

The wilderness they once inhabited has turned into neighborhoods and shopping centers.

The elk have been driven to the farms northeast of town, where they’re feasting on an unnatural diet of alfalfa and other crops.

Some homeowners also complain that the elk devour their backyard plants and trees, and leave unseemly droppings and odors.

Thursday: The Sequim City Council weighs in on the elk issue.

More in News

Sequoia mourned at council meeting

Ten speakers lamented the felling of the Lions Park… Continue reading

Two hurt in wreck west of Port Angeles; road blocked

Two drivers were injured in a head-on collision on… Continue reading

Sequim legislator co-sponsors bill to make daylight saving time permanent

State Sen. Kevin Van De Wege is co-sponsoring legislation to… Continue reading

Sequim School District opens talks for bond, levy options

Public discussions are beginning once again for the future of… Continue reading

Kilmer postpones Town Hall meetings

U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer has postponed to early February… Continue reading

KSQM powers through recent winter storm, power outage

While thousands of residents in Clallam County were without power… Continue reading

Texas man found dead at Cape Flattery

An Amazon senior project manager from Fort Worth, Texas,… Continue reading

Most Read