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Contact: Valerie Naylor, 701-623-4466
VOLUNTEERS SELECTED FOR 2011 ELK REDUCTION PROGRAM
Letters are in the mail to 200 potential volunteers who will assist Theodore Roosevelt National Park with its elk reduction program this fall and winter.
Volunteers will work as members of teams with up to 4 volunteers led by National Park Service employees.The teams will be using firearms to shoot elk in the park between October 17 and December 23.The reduction will again focus on cow elk, although some yearling bulls will also be targeted for removal.Shooting will be restricted to Tuesday through Thursday to minimize disruption to normal park operations and weekend visitation by the public.
"We look forward to another successful year of elk reduction in the park," said Superintendent Valerie Naylor."Last year we successfully removed 406 elk with no injuries or accidents.Our goal is to have a safe and successful effort in 2011."
The elk reduction volunteer application period was open from July 9 - 23. During this fifteen day application period, a total of 399 unique applications were received.Because volunteers could apply in teams of 2-4, there were 875 eligible applicants. Overall, applications were received from 33 different states.North Dakota and Minnesota represented the largest portion of applicants, accounting for 42% and 23% of eligible volunteers respectively.
The overall odds of being selected to participate as a volunteer were much higher than in 2010. For 2011 the drawing odds for any given week ranged from a low of 17% to a high of 31%.In the 2010 selection, the drawing odds were .5% - 1.1%.
The volunteers were randomly selected using a computer program. Twelve volunteers who participated in 2010 were selected to participate again this year.
The people who received packets have until August 22 to return all of the required paperwork to the park.If potential volunteers do not return their paperwork or decide not to participate, the park will go through another selection process to fill any vacant slots.Applicants who are not notified can assume they were not selected for the elk reduction effort.
All volunteers must certify that they are in excellent physical condition and have good shooting skills.When they arrive at the park, they must also pass a shooting proficiency test or they will be disqualified from participating in the program.