Column: Government dilly-dallies on elk decisionGood grief. No wonder government often gets a bad name. Much of the time, it’s deserved.
By: Minot (N.D.) Daily News, Worthington Daily Globe
Good grief. No wonder government often gets a bad name. Much of the time, it’s deserved.
After five years of discussion, the National Park Service has released a 500-plus page report on possible ways to thin the elk herd at Theodore Roosevelt National Park. A final decision is still at least a year away.
That’s right — 500 pages and five years of discussion and still no one has made an actual decision on what to do about the growing elk herd. But we do have possibilities. We had possibilities five years ago.
The report includes a “range of reasonable options,” including volunteer shooters and relocating some elk after checking them for disease. Other options include encouraging hunters to shoot elk that wander outside the park’s boundaries and rounding up excess elk and euthanizing them.
This shouldn’t be that difficult to solve, even though we know the discussion has to involve the federal government because we’re dealing with a national park. Still, a few officials in a meeting using a little common sense and some fiscal responsibility should be able to solve this issue in an afternoon.
Five years and 500-plus pages and all we’ve still got is possibilities? We’ve elected two presidents in that time and we can't solve an elk problem?
The Park Service will take public comments on the plan for three months, and will schedule public hearings. No timetable has been set for making a final decision, although officials say it will be at least another year before anything is done with the herd, which will no doubt be even larger by then.
Here’s a suggestion: Organize a group of qualified volunteer hunters to shoot the elk. Test the animals for any diseases, and then donate the meat to food pantries in the state. How hard is that?
Only in Washington does solving a relatively simple problem like this take five or six years.
Minot (N.D.) Daily News