The National Park Service reported today that it has completed its “elk maintenance” for the year at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, culling 46 elk in the park’s South Unit from Nov. 5 to Dec. 5.
In a news release, the Park Service said it continues to maintain elk numbers in accordance with the Elk Management Plan finalized in 2010. After two years of dramatic elk reductions in 2010 and 2011, this was the second year of the long-term maintenance phase, requiring only modest reductions to keep elk numbers within desired limits.
“The National Park Service team is to be commended for doing an exceptional job of completing this year’s project without injuries and with minimal impact to park visitors and operations.” Valerie Naylor, superintendent of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, said in a statement. “Elk numbers in the park will be reassessed in late summer of 2014, with the need for another maintenance phase reduction being determined then.”
Most of the 7,500 pounds of meat that was packed out of the park during the effort was donated to North Dakota’s Sportsman Against Hunger program.
The backcountry in the South Unit, which was closed three days a week during the elk removal effort, is now open to visitors all of the time, the Park Service said.
For more information on the park and its Elk Management Plan, click here.