Wildlife biologists at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park have recently reassessed the elk population within the park and deemed the experiment a success. Fifty-two elk were released into the park in 2001 and 2002. That herd has grown to 125 over the years and expanded beyond the original “drop zone” of Cataloochee Valley. The park service has determined the herd can be sustained over the long term and is now transitioning into a long-term management strategy, which is open to public comment. Two management options are detailed, one of which continues the tagging and monitoring of the elk, the other gradually scales down the collaring of the elk and only trackin a sample population of the animals.
View the details of both management proposals and make comments here.