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Elk group to try collars

The Valley’s first study on elk using radio collars is about to begin.

With elk populations on the rise near Snoqualmie and North Bend, members of the Upper Snoqualmie Valley Elk Management Group want to know more about the health and range of the local herd.

The management group, which is made up of citizens, tribe members, land owners, public representatives and state agencies, is starting a radio collar study this spring to collect information on elk numbers, migration patterns and health.

“Currently, there’s no accurate data to describe the size and migrations of this herd,” said Kalli Willson, spokeswoman for the group. “We don’t know where they go all of the time.”

The collar study could lead to the discovery of important calving areas and forage sites. Protecting these areas may help keep elk out of areas where conflict with people occurs, according to Willson.

The group has been assured that collaring won’t interfere with or harm the elk.

“The method we are using is the least risky, when it comes to any possible problem for the elk,” Willson said. “It’s very low risk.”

The management group is also looking to increase the herd’s visibility for visitors and minimize disturbances to the herd while maintaining traffic safety.

“The elk are an amazing resouce,” Willson said. “We’re all looking out for the best interests of citizens and the elk.”

Elk management group meetings are open to anyone who is interested in learning what the group is doing, or what the elk herd is doing.

The next meeting is 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 8, at Meadowbrook Farm Interpretive Center, 1711 Boalch Ave, North Bend. Learn more at www.SnoqualmieValleyElk.org.

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