Where should the elk be taken?

MUCH IS STILL unknown about where Sequim’s Roosevelt elk would be taken and when the move would take place.

“We have a couple of areas in mind, both east and west of Sequim,” said Scott Chitwood, natural resources director for the Jamestown S’Klallam tribe.

The Sol Duc area on the West End may be an option, he said, since it’s undeveloped.

Wherever the elk are relocated, it will have to be a substantial distance away from Sequim, said Jeremy Sage, a wildlife biologist with the Point No Point Treaty Council, a natural resource management organization serving the Jamestown and Port Gamble S’Klallam tribes.

“Keeping them in the Dungeness Valley is still an option,” Sage said.

But he added that when other elk herds have been relocated, the animals returned to their former homes — even when it meant traveling up to about 60 miles.

The Sequim Elk Habitat Committee opposes a long-distance relocation.

“The solution we like,” said committee member Frank Figg, “is to try to move the herd up to Burnt Hill, discourage human interface with Burnt Hill, and diminish, not eliminate, off-road vehicles there.”

“[Burnt Hill] would, frankly, be a waste of money,” said Sage.

Burnt Hill, south of Sequim, is too close, and the elk would probably make their way back to the predator-free farms and residential back yards in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley, he said.

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