DNR Releases Draft Elk Management Plan

Public Comment Open House Planned
Michigan has a rich history of recovering species on the brink, no doubt. But did you know that Michigan’s elk population has a particularly tumultuous history, being twice subject to serious population decline and management challenges? The story of elk management in Michigan is a perfect example of what sound scientific management can do for an at risk species. We now find ourselves with a viably managed herd, but one that is sensitive to the landscape and social changes our state is facing.
The DNR presented a draft elk management plan at the October NRC meeting that both addresses the challenges of the management effort but also provides optimism for the future of the herd and Michigan stakeholders. MUCC Board President Paul Rose was on the Elk Management Advisory Team (EMAT) that helped provide input to the department.
The draft goals are as follows:
  • Goal 1: Manage for a sustainable elk population in balance with the habitat.
  • Goal 2: Use hunting as the primary method to control elk numbers, herd composition and distribution.
  • Goal 3: Enhance public understanding of elk in Michigan.
There is a public open house set for Wednesday, November 9 from 7-9 PM at the Eagles Hall in Gaylord; 515 S. Wisconsin Ave. Gaylord, MI 49735. The DNR will solicit public input on the draft plan at this time.
Director approval is anticipated in January, at which point the plan directs the Department to ask for volunteers and collaboration to help with the maintenance of managed wildlife openings.  This would be a great opportunity for clubs in elk country to get involved!
You can view the draft elk management plan in its entirety here.  

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