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Contact: Eileen Andes, 701-623-4466
The maintenance phase for managing the elk population in Theodore Roosevelt National Park has been completed for this year. A total of 46 elk were removed by park staff in the park's South Unit between November 5 and December 5.
The park continues to maintain elk numbers in accordance with the Elk Management Plan, which was finalized in 2010.Following 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." said Superintendent Valerie Naylor."Elk numbers in the park will be reassessed in late summer of 2014, with the need for another maintenance phase reduction being determined then."
Aproximately 7,500 pounds of meat was packed out of the park during this maintenance phase, most of which was donated to Sportsman Against Hunger through the North Dakota Community Action Partnership.
The backcountry in the South Unit, which was closed three days per week during the elk removal effort, is now open to visitors all of the time.
More information about the Elk Management Plan is available on the park's website at www.nps.gov/thro.