I was glad to read the story on the group that has been tasked to come up with a management plan for the growing elk herd in the Upper Valley. It’s an amazing sight to see the elk grazing in the mornings or afternoons while going to and from work. But it’s also a crap shoot when driving between Snoqualmie and North Bend on State Route 202 at night, wondering if one of the big animals will come out of the bushes.
I told my kids, on several occasions, to drive down the Stone Quarry Road or up to North Bend Way, but avoid SR 202 at night.
I would hope that part of the management plan is a better viewing area for the elk. As stated many times in past editorials, the number of near-accidents due to people staring at the elk is too high.
A large pull-out needs to be constructed on Meadowbrook Farm so that those wanting to view the elk can get completely off the road. I also wonder if an elk fence along SR 202 makes sense to keep the elk out of the roadway. There are numerous examples of this along I-90 at exit 27.
Balance is the key. Balancing the desires of those who want to see the elk prosper in the Valley and be available for viewing, and those who are suffering damage to their property or worse, jeopardizing their safety. Wouldn’t it be tragic if someone was killed, because of an elk, on that dark stretch of SR 202?
Meetings are held at 6:30 p.m. the second Wednesday of each month at the Meadowbrook Farm Interpretive center. If you have ideas, stop by and share them at the meetings.