PENINSULA: Sequim elk population doubles in six years

The size of the Sequim elk herd has nearly doubled in the past six years, a recent count by wildlife officials shows.

While there have been substantial drops in the number of elk throughout the North Olympic Peninsula during the past decade, the population of the Sequim herd increased from 52 animals in 1994 to more than 100 today, officials said.

A count last winter revealed 85 elk, but that number has likely grown, said Jack Smith, the state’s regional wildlife manager for the Olympic Peninsula and South Puget Sound.

“That group of elk is going contrary to the rest of them — increasing at a really high rate,” he said.

The number of elk throughout the Olympic Peninsula has decreased by 40 percent in the last decade, Smith said.

He credited a “huge forage base” as a factor contributing to the Sequim elk herd’s population growth.

This full report appears in the Friday/Saturday edition of the Peninsula Daily News, on sale throughout Clallam and Jefferson Counties.

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