For the week of June 2, 1999  thru June 8, 1999  

Stanley group to examine winter elk herd


By GREG STAHL
Express Staff Writer

Although the Stanley Basin is not traditional winter range for elk, several hundred elk winter there each year. That has raised questions about supplemental feeding programs and problems associated with the herd.

A Stanley-based group will offer a public forum at the Stanley Community Building from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 5, to discuss the elk herd

The forum, offered by the Stanley-Sawtooth/SNRA Collaborative Stewardship Group, will center on resolving conflicts associated with the elk that winter in the Sawtooth Valley.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game personnel will provide an overview of elk herd management goals and objectives, the role of a winter feeding advisory committee and the emergency winter elk feeding program.

They will also provide a summary of the 1999 winter feeding program, the pros and cons of supplemental winter feeding and the damage problems associated with the Stanley herd.

According to the landowner/sportsman coordinator for the Salmon region Anna Owsiak, elk feeding on ornamental vegetation has been a problem, as well as local citizens feeding the animals.

The fact that the Stanley basin is not traditional winter range will likely come up as well, she said.

The citizens of Stanley will be present to share their concerns about wintering Stanley Basin elk.

The forum will offer an opportunity for all concerned citizens and the managing agency, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, to work together in resolving elk conflicts on a local basis.

This is the public’s chance to get involved and help reduce conflicts associated with winter feeding and the Stanley elk herd, according to a stewardship group press release.

The aim of the collaborative stewardship group is to build cooperative relationships among those who’re affected by resource management issues in the Stanley Basin.

The group works within existing laws and regulations and attempts to address the concerns of all individuals affected by an issue.

The government agency, in this case Fish and Game, retains responsibility and authority, but all stakeholders are invited to share that responsibility.

Most recently, the group held a forum on the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The meeting precipitated the formation of a committee that will strive to achieve harmonic co-existence among varying Stanley Basin groups within parameters set up by the ESA.

During the winter, the group spearheaded efforts to distribute a winter recreation map. The map was intended to help avoid private property trespass, avoid skier-snowmobiler conflicts and ensure the safety of wintering wildlife.

 

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