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jpm8920
09-03-2004, 03:26 PM
Hey guys, is there any update on Elk being reintroduced into NY. I had read about elk being brought into the ADK's and catskills, and that is was very close to happening, but that the DEC was too worried about chronic wasting disease to bring in elk from anywhere. Does anyone know if this is ever going to go through?

Tom McG
09-07-2004, 08:41 AM
There was a plan to bring them to the Catskills first, but with the chronic wasting disease outbreak in the west. The state dropped its idea of importing Elk last year, the risk to the native deer population is to great.
Tom

lumberzac
09-07-2004, 08:54 AM
Maybe they will eventually come back on their own like the moose are doing now. Although this will probably would take a lot longer than the moose.

jpm8920
09-07-2004, 04:23 PM
Why can't NY take some of PA's elk from their pretty new herd and import them? I mean, I understand not bringing them in from the west, but I would love to see elk in our state.

fvrwld
09-08-2004, 04:06 AM
I found the website of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (www.rmef.org/pages/pny.html) . In 1996 they helped in a study regarding the feasibility of reintroducing elk into NYS. The study concluded in 2001 and the results were favorable. Then in 2002 the idea was scrapped due to CWD(article) (www.recordonline.com/archive/2002/05/07/dirks07.htm)

I would think that all they have to do would be to quarintine the elk for a while and run test on them. I believe that right now there is a ban on all importation of wild members of the deer family into NYS because of CWD.

jpm8920
09-08-2004, 08:10 AM
Yes, that ban is in effect. I was just hoping to find out if the DEC still plans on doing this once the ban is lifted.

lumberzac
09-08-2004, 08:49 AM
Will this work and if so, at what cost?

DEC doesn't have a very good record for reintroductions. The tried to reintroduce both lynx and moose and both times failed miserably (the moose eventually came back on there own). They were successful with beaver though. DEC is ridiculously under funded and at this point I would like to see more money spent on the protection of plants and animals that are currently threatened rather than trying to reintroduce one that has already disappeared from the landscape. If funding was adequate to do both I’d be all for the reintroduction of elk and others.

sacco
09-08-2004, 09:40 AM
it seems to me that elk would have a very good chance - much better than moose.

zac, i agree with you that the DECs success is spotty at best, but don't forget about the turkey - one the most lauded reintroductions around.

Tom McG
09-08-2004, 12:11 PM
True that failed with the Lynx, but they learned a lot from that attempt. I don’t believe they never tried to reintroduce the Moose. It turned into a political hot potato and the plan was dropped in favor of the natural expansion. As mentioned earlier, they were also successful in reintroducing the beaver and turkey. Lets not forget the Peregrine Falcon and Bald Eagle. These are just a couple of the successful animals reintroduced by DEC, I’m sure there are more (note I didn’t mention any of the marine species). Lets give these folks some credit for all their hard work and their efforts with such a difficult project.
Tom

jpm8920
09-08-2004, 12:21 PM
Good points, but I believe that a lot of the funding was going to be coming from the Rocky Mountain Elk Federation (I think that is the right name). So, the money was there, now it is just a matter of permitting elk to be imported into NY.

sacco
09-08-2004, 12:33 PM
as much as i'm in favor of elk reintroduction, i'm glad that they are waiting until this CWD can be brought under control, or atleast better understood.

i think we can all agree that waiting a few years for elk is a small price to pay, in order to protect our whitetails.

if CWD got into our deer right now it could be devastating.

jpm8920
09-08-2004, 04:14 PM
Sacco, I agree completely. I just hope that the idea of reintroduction isn't put off for good. It would be great to have them around one day.

adk
09-12-2006, 09:17 PM
I did some research with regards to Elk reintroduction (which I support). I too heard about the CWD concerns and the APA put the application for reintroduction on hold because of CWD. The problem is that out west CWD goes back decades. It occurs in about 5% to 15% of the wild herds (depending who you ask). So once it gets into the wild population (which I hope it doesnt,) then what is next? I think that we should not let the fear of CWD prevent a healthy range of biology in the dacks. More so I think we should look at ways of CWD prevention while continuing plans for reintroduction of healthy animals from proven and tested eastern stock. I have had much correspondence with the RMEF as well as the APA about the subject. South eastern states have created elk herds in the thousands. The animals belong in the region and so far we in NY are behind on this project. I hope that the APA and those involved see this through and get back to work on this project.

kurtteej
09-13-2006, 04:04 PM
They're pretty big animals and the males can be really really nasty around this time of year. My wife and I took our honeymoon (15 years ago tomorrow) in the Canadian Rockies in several lodges and hotels from Banff up into some more remote sites in the north. When we were there the annual rutt started -- 2 males were fighting it out on a golf course which had to be shut down until the following spring (4 fairways were torn to shreds). These animals were very used to humans being around and were found strolling thru Banff, the highways, the side roads -- essentially all over the place.

That being said -- CWD or not, I think that a lot of the locals are going to have some major problems with these critters. They are significantly less shy than moose from what I've seen of them. Some of the bucks were as big at the shoulder as I am (which is quite a bit over 6 foot). Natural concerns or not, i think that there are more issues with this than just CWD. [i love taking pix of critters in the wild, so that side of me agrees with this completely, but my 'people are pains' side is saying that this would cause more problems that it may be worth].

adk
09-13-2006, 07:23 PM
Thanks for your reply, its great to see there is interest here. I must say I agree that there will certainly be plenty of people concerns in the Adirondacks. Thats a common issue anytime there is a discussion about reintroduction of any species. As far as Elk are concerned, I have spent plenty of time around Elk in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho and like you mentioned, having a couple bucks in the rut is tough on a golf course. Although I must admit that Elks in suburbia is not my concern here. In fact the only problems I see out west were tourists trying to get too close for a picture. However, I think we need to look at the "forever wild" and at a minimum the wilderness areas of the park as a place that is actually for wilderness(and all that statement implies). What is forever wild anyway (Wild ATV trails, Wild Golfing, Wild prices on houses)? Now I am not saying that a park as "checkerboard" as the Adirondacks could handle tens of thousands of Elk, I wish it could, rather I am saying that a reasonable controlled population would certainly be more then expectable. Honestly after all we humans have done to harm that natural world why not give a little back? There are right now thousands of Elk in the southeast but no Elk that I have heard of that are taking over communities. In fact here is an article about just that.
http://www.rmef.org/bugle/pages/05MA/appalachians.html

Review the website there is plenty of studies from those who are very familiar with this specific subject. And there is a wealth of knowledge. By the way Pennsylvania has had a wild Elk herd for many years now and there are doing better then fine.
How is it that Kentucky can sustain up to 8000 Elk and the largest park in the contiguous United States does not have a single Elk not 1?
I think its a mistake to give up on such a magnificent animal returning to its natural range. I hope that the public will give the region a chance to again be a small percent of the magnificent wilderness it was before we screwed it up in the first place.

Hollywood
09-14-2006, 11:40 AM
Bring back the Elk and the Wolf (uh oh, not the dreaded wolf topic again! :beatdead: ). I believe this was done in Nothern Minnesota some years back with success. The wolves did their job and the herds seemed to be doing fine. Wouldn't it be great to see them both in the 'dacks?

adk
09-15-2006, 05:58 PM
That would certainly be an amazing thing to witness. I hope one day enough of us that care, can work together to make this happen. Imagine a wilderness area with actual "wilderness". Well for now I think its about the Elk. One step at a time, then hopefully folks will come around and see that having the original biology in the Adirondacks is in all of our best interest.

bigbryan
09-15-2006, 07:07 PM
let nature take its course

adk
09-16-2006, 11:47 PM
Well I agree with you, and your very right we should let nature run its course. Although, we have already done plenty of damage so does that mean we can't try and set some things right? Look, in my fathers and grandfathers time during the great depression, there was far less wildlife in the park then today. Elk did not become locally extinct in the Adirondacks because "mother-nature" wrote them out off the parks landscape, they're gone because we people killed every last one of them. The Adirondacks is like an island surrounded by highways, rivers and cities. That means if we hunt irresponsibly like for example Moose, Wolf, Cougars, Beavers, Turkeys and of course, Elk and Eastern woodland Caribou for that matter, then we wipe them out. Thanks too the hard work of folks who worked on restoration efforts, such as Beaver, Turkey, Moose, Bald Eagle, Brook Trout we can again appreciate having them around once again. Had they not been involved, what would the Adirondacks look like now? My guess would be Plattsburgh. I am all for letting nature run her course, in fact I have spent my life working with the natural environment and trying to set aside areas for just that purpose. Based on all we have learned about wildlife restoration in the area, if we get involved, good things happen. When we dont get involved, or at least give a break too those who do, then nature simply doesnt to get a chance to run her course in the first place.

redhawk
09-17-2006, 12:10 AM
let nature take its course

How come I don't hear that when someone wants to develop some land? Or a town wants a new resort to generate revenue? When bears are scavanging for food? When deer are eating shrubs?

How come we don't hear that when someone is in the process of polluting a river, or the air?

How come we don't hear "Let nature takes it's course" when a forest fire is destroying houses that idiots built in the middle of the forest or on the top of a mountain? Or when someone wants to flood an area for recreational use?

How come we don't hear it when hiking and snowmobile and bike trails are getting overgrown? How come we don't hear it when predatators are doing what nature has designed them to do? Or when rivers naturally overflow their banks?

How come we don't hear that when a forest fire is culling the dead trees and brush and opening up the forest to sun so new groth can take place?

Just curious. :confused:

kurtteej
09-20-2006, 09:52 AM
How come I don't hear that when someone wants to develop some land? Or a town wants a new resort to generate revenue? When bears are scavanging for food? When deer are eating shrubs?

...............Just curious. :confused:

You probably don't hear it because people are the ones that voice it -- and if you come by this site often enough, you DO hear it. You hear it from concerned individuals like yourself.

I'm of the opinion, in this and every situation where undeveloped land is of an issue, that both sides of the debate need to be heard and both sides of the debate need to be considered when a final plan is determined and eventually implemented.

redhawk
09-20-2006, 11:36 AM
I'm of the opinion, in this and every situation where undeveloped land is of an issue, that both sides of the debate need to be heard and both sides of the debate need to be considered when a final plan is determined and eventually implemented.

I think the key is that in all cases like this, it is the long term effects/solution that needs to be addresses/implemented.

All too often it's the short sighted view that gets enacted.

It's amazing, all one has to do in most cases is compare the past to the present, and then multiply that by a few more years to picture the impact. Of course, that's the last thing most people really want to address.

adk
09-21-2006, 05:28 PM
Well said..

twochordcool
10-01-2006, 09:23 PM
let nature take its course

I keep trying to tell some people that the Adirondacks are landlocked and surrounded by considerably developed areas and large bodies of water - I think it would be very difficult for certain species to immigrate into the Adirondacks on their own - too many obstacles getting here.

twochordcool
10-01-2006, 09:31 PM
Based on all we have learned about wildlife restoration in the area, if we get involved, good things happen. When we dont get involved, or at least give a break too those who do, then nature simply doesnt to get a chance to run her course in the first place.

I agree with this.

It's funny how humans wipe out a certain species, but then we have enough land to bring those species back and humans don't want them back - or they opt for letting nature take it's course, which translates to "they're gonna have a hell of a time getting back here on their own and it'll be many many years until I have to worry about something I am not really for in the first place".

3 things ought to be considered:

Were those animals here before?

Did humans eradicate them from the Adirondacks?

Is there enough habitat for them to survive?

If the answer is yes to those questions I believe we have a responsibility to reintroduce those species.

kurtteej
10-02-2006, 05:01 PM
I think the key is that in all cases like this, it is the long term effects/solution that needs to be addresses/implemented.

All too often it's the short sighted view that gets enacted.

It's amazing, all one has to do in most cases is compare the past to the present, and then multiply that by a few more years to picture the impact. Of course, that's the last thing most people really want to address.

I agree. A lot of 'people in power' are concerned with 1 thing --> say the right thing to the right group of people at the right time because they need to get re-elected. That is essentially THE job of a polician, get elected and then re-elected. God FORBID they actually DO something or DO something with anything that resembles intelligence..

kurtteej
10-02-2006, 05:09 PM
I agree with this.

If the answer is yes to those questions I believe we have a responsibility to reintroduce those species.

Actually we dont have a responsibility to reintroduce anything --> the only responsibility that anyone has is to THINK about it and come up with a rational decision -- not based on the opinion of 1 group over another group. This group of people is very heavily skewed to the opinion that 'man is evil' and that everything that 'man' does has to be to correct the wrongs of their grandfathers. I'M NOT SAYING THAT YOUR OPINION IS WRONG!!!!! I AM saying that when there is a contrary opinion (like mine sometimes) it is assumed that I am in the wrong -- when an opinion is never wrong because it's an opinion and not a fact.

To say that we have the responsibility to do something just because they have the room to survive is just not a correct way to view it -- because blindly stating that is to have that as the opinion at the expense of anything else that would be done to the land. There are people that get angered when land in a developed area is set aside for homeless people, there are people that are angered when a golf course goes in, there's people angered when a new shopping center goes in, there's people that are angered when land is acquired and 'made wild'.

Sorry for the rant, hope i don't tick anyone off -- everyone is entitled to their opinion.

twochordcool
10-02-2006, 05:35 PM
So kurtteej, what if you visited the beautiful forests in the Adirondacks and were told there was not a single living animal in those hundreds and hundreds of thousands of acres of wilderness? And what if that was because humans wiped them all out? Would you be OK with that? If not, which animals would you decide to release into this beautiful habitat void of any mammals and reptiles?

If elk roamed the Adirondacks in recent times (before Europeans), if there is enough habitat for a population to thrive, and if humans are to blame for why they disappeared, isn't it LOGICAL that we help them recover here?

We are talking about rather large wilderness areas, aren't we?

Should wilderness be man-made and regulated, like a simple tree farm with a few deer?

Isn't the whole concept of wilderness to have a living forest, as close to how nature created it?

And if we altered it, and if we are going to have it, shouldn't we try to bring it back to it's original state?

adk
10-02-2006, 05:48 PM
Well if I may say so, I do agree that everyone is entitled to their opinion. In that regard you are certainly correct. As far as the land within the park is considered, keep in mind we are talking about an area that is constitutionally protected by NY state as forever wild. Now we could go back and forth about what wild actually is but it does lean in the favor of restoration to its natural state. Before us humans screwed it up I mean.

Many folks that argue against restoration efforts within the park seem to be against restoration efforts in many cases the way the republicans are against democrats. They stop listening to the point of the debate because they are talking to a left winger etc.
There is a few bottom lines, that we are talking about here.
One is that the park is in huge trouble.
Its under attack from every side and being developed at an alarming rate. For further details, please read up on line and youll see very quickly the current state of affairs.
Another is that there are people in this world who want to help protect the region from those with economic interests who would sell it all for pulp and mini malls quicker than you could climb Mt Joe.
If some people decide to help protect, preserve and restore a region that was already supposed to be protected (forever wild) I say lets give them a break. Wait, I take that back, lets give them a hand, because they are right. Not because they are left or right from the political center or because it will help the future of eco-tourism in the region. They are right because thats what we are really talking about here, the right thing too do.

There is an imbalance between man kinds needs to have homes and shopping malls and mother-natures needs to be healthy. Anytime you doubt that, look at one of the many pure orange creeks with no fish around NY and New England and its easy to see that we are screwing things up and doing a real poor job of taking care of the earth we live on.

If there are Elk and Moose populations in the park, as there should be there will need to be more protected wilderness habitat regions. That does not mean bad things for you, its just the right thing too do.

sacco
10-02-2006, 07:52 PM
kurt, i don't want you to feel like everyone's ganging up on you, and i respect the fact that you're voicing an opinion contrary to most but i gotta ask...

your argument against elk introduction seems largely based on the damage a rutting bull might cause.
i can't imagine any elk is even close to as dangerous to life and property as a bull moose.
given the fact that moose are here, doing very well, and most adk residents (those most at risk) seem to be happy with them- doesn't the whole "the rip up the golf courses" argument seem a little thin?

and for the record, if you look back on this thread, i'm not for their immediate reintro either, but my opinion is b/c of CWD.

kurtteej
10-03-2006, 10:02 AM
kurt, i don't want you to feel like everyone's ganging up on you, and i respect the fact that you're voicing an opinion contrary to most but i gotta ask...

I actually expected to get ganged up on since most people here tend to do that when people offer an idea that's either unexpected or unanticipated. Most people here mistake that my opinion of -- we don't have a responsibility to introduce animals -- for an opinion that i am for NO animals. That's just utterly rediculous. We don't have a responsibility to correct the errors of our great-grandparents. We have a responsibility to our own citizens to do what's right for them. Based on the last thing that I posted, I was pretty clear when I was discussing a middle ground. Middle ground in most cases, means just that.... middle ground. I also stated that some land should be held out for use and that some should be made 'wilderness'.

It's clear that if anyones opinion includes something other than backpackers only that that person will be ganged up on. I expect that. It never bothered me to be ganged up on verbally or physically, either way I am well equipped to defend myself.

I am not against the introduction of Elk in the area, particularly since I don't live there. My posts were indicating that it should be thought out, discussed and a rational decision should be made -- not one based on the political fear like most decisions are today.

twochordcool
10-03-2006, 11:00 AM
We have a responsibility to our own citizens to do what's right for them

Yes, but with regards to the wilderness areas in the Adirondacks I think people must acknowledge that in a lot of ways they will have to take the "back burner" to wildlife and the right thing to do for the wilderness.

I have gotten in a little trouble here in the past defending wilderness (over people) so strongly, but it's the way I feel.

If people want to live there they will have to deal with the inconveniences of living within such a special place. If they are anti-wilderness and/or what comes with it the other side of the blue line is not too far away.

Little Rickie
10-03-2006, 12:14 PM
I agree. A lot of 'people in power' are concerned with 1 thing --> say the right thing to the right group of people at the right time because they need to get re-elected. That is essentially THE job of a polician, get elected and then re-elected. God FORBID they actually DO something or DO something with anything that resembles intelligence..

So how can this be corrected?

kurtteej
10-03-2006, 03:00 PM
So how can this be corrected?

There is nothing that can be done about this in my opinion. BOTH political parties are guilty of it. The introduction of a third political party would create a situation where the majority no longer rules and you'd have political chaos like you have in France.

The only thing that would have a remote chance of changing things is the line-item veto. This will never be pushed thru because pork is how politicians get re-elected. The "Look What I Did For You" headlines keep the various political machines in business. This is just the way our system has evolved.

kurtteej
10-03-2006, 03:11 PM
Yes, but with regards to the wilderness areas in the Adirondacks I think people must acknowledge that in a lot of ways they will have to take the "back burner" to wildlife and the right thing to do for the wilderness.

I have gotten in a little trouble here in the past defending wilderness (over people) so strongly, but it's the way I feel.

If people want to live there they will have to deal with the inconveniences of living within such a special place. If they are anti-wilderness and/or what comes with it the other side of the blue line is not too far away.

Agreed.

I purposely go to the Adirondacks so that I can go into the wilderness areas and enjoy the benefits of having virtually nothing but what I have with me -- I always take care to bring out MORE garbage than I create so that I leave my 'space' cleaner than when I got there. Because of this pro-wilderness people don't get an argument from me unless the argument is so lopsided that they can't possibly listen to anything but their opinion being repeated back to them.

The last time I got in trouble and ganged up on here was because of a bike trail. Some people here (doesnt matter who) had a problem because i thought that a microscopically small possibility of a rattlesnake maybe getting injured or killed was okay. I was flamed and shuttered in mock disgrace. It's this thinking that makes in difficult for an 'average' person to listen to the opinions of wilderness and 'outdoors' folks.

I think that the best way to protect the land and the critters is to actually use pieces of the land to show how beautiful it is and how we need to protect it FOR US. The 'average' person doesn't care about Bambi -- and the argument to keep wild areas wild for animals generally falls on deaf ears. Keeping the wild areas wild for PEOPLE to enjoy the wild is the way to protect it. This is the # 1 reason why I take outdoor photos -- to show how beautiful something is, and oh by the way 'dont knock the trees down to build a WalMart here because it's beautiful'.

Sorry for the ramble -- i just wanted to clarify that i essentially agree with the people that want to keep land wild.

twochordcool
10-03-2006, 04:10 PM
I think that the best way to protect the land and the critters is to actually use pieces of the land to show how beautiful it is and how we need to protect it FOR US. The 'average' person doesn't care about Bambi -- and the argument to keep wild areas wild for animals generally falls on deaf ears

Perhaps this IS the flawed logic of the average person.

You're right, the average person couldn't give a rat's rear end about bambi and wilderness.

So, should the people that feel strongly about protecting the wilderness for those reasons change their argument to an insincere one to make those people reconsider?

A perfect example is when certain people bring a law suit to some some land owner / developer or the US Forest Service to stop development or logging and mining and they claim that the purple spotted cricket is in danger! These people are forced to come out with this lame argument because people don't want to listen to "this land should be saved in it's natural state JUST BECAUSE IT SHOULD".

But maybe it should be saved if it's an exceptional and rare area JUST BECAUSE?

?

pondhopper
10-03-2006, 09:25 PM
Interesting discussion. I'm open minded and was wondering, if anyone could give some dates for when elk disappeared in the Adirondacks (and any other data). I'm aware that elk horns were often plowed up by new settlers in Martinsburg via Hough's History of Lewis County , but don't recall seeing any other data suggesting their presence in the Adirondacks proper.

People in Colorado, told me (while, I was there) that elk were, originally meadow/open country animals, but got pushed into woodsy & higher elevations. (Probably, why- I was roaming around @ 10,000 ft. ;) .) So, this made me think that places-like the low lying and relatively open (even then) Black River Valley, may have been the elks prefered habitat in the past.

Just interested & curious......thanks in advance for any info.

sacco
10-04-2006, 09:05 AM
funny pondhopper-

a friend and i were just dicussing that it would be nice to find a decent source of info on the historical flora (and especially) the fauna of NY.

elk, woodland buffalo, moose, lions, ect. roughly how many, and when/why they left ect, ect.

does anyone know a good source of info?

Rik
10-04-2006, 09:32 AM
funny pondhopper-

a friend and i were just dicussing that it would be nice to find a decent source of info on the historical flora (and especially) the fauna of NY.

elk, woodland buffalo, moose, lions, ect. roughly how many, and when/why they left ect, ect.

does anyone know a good source of info?

Some of that info is available in the Adirondack Atlas.

adk
10-04-2006, 09:12 PM
The history of Elk in the region has been shown. In fact as seen in this first link, recently. (Although this site wants a subscription) but, it speaks of a recent (2006) prehistoric Elk found in North Western NY. http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dpae/cons/2006/0206elk.html

The most significant current research was made by the RMEF who determined (during an Adirondack Elk feasibility study) that Elk did indeed occur in the eastern US including NY State.
http://www.rmef.org/pages/pny.html

Here is a quote from that study

"The eastern subspecies of elk (Cervus elaphus canadensis) occurred in what is now the Eastern United States, including New York, at the time of European colonization (Bryant and Maser 1982). Increased harvest of elk for private and commercial use depleted elk populations in the Eastern United States during the late 1700s and early 1800s. The last record of native Eastern elk in New York was in 1847 (Shoemaker 1939). Elk were extirpated everywhere east of the Mississippi River by the late 1800s (Bryant and Maser 1982)."

I think the fauna in the park has certainly changed dramatically but in fact there are far more forested areas today then 100 years ago. This change is because most inhabitants of north eastern region of the US are no longer dependant on just wood for heat and also clearing for agriculture was far more significant back then. Things are slowly returning to a more natural state. Its seems to me that in the large Wild Forest and Wilderness regions of the park have a great chance to return some of the original inhabitants. I think a carefully monitored and controlled restoration effort could adhere to both concerns about Chronic Waiting Disease as well as concerns about the public and local communities within the park etc. Thats why I think the only practical conversation would be to consider this in small monitored populations as far from populated areas as the Adirondacks could offer.

Pennsylvania has a heard of wild Elk. This is a similar territory with similar concerns. The fact is that they did a great job and now Elk has returned to that region. Hats off to those involved who were able navigate through all the politics and work things out. They have now been there for years without any major problems of any kind. In fact its a boost to the area for eco-tourists etc. Many states in the east have also done this and the eastern Elk heard is strong in fact it is now in the many thousands and growing except that is, for the Adirondacks.

kurtteej
10-05-2006, 10:15 AM
Perhaps this IS the flawed logic of the average person.

You're right, the average person couldn't give a rat's rear end about bambi and wilderness.

So, should the people that feel strongly about protecting the wilderness for those reasons change their argument to an insincere one to make those people reconsider?

?

You absolutely should not change your opinion about it, just as I wouldn't. Without both sides of the issue being openly discussed and heard then 1 of the 2 sides will always be griping about the results.

I also think that people on both sides should ask for a little more than they would like or expect and that they should settle for something less than they optimally would want -- this way they don't look extreme and they are more likely to get what they want. For example, if an environmental group would like 1,000 acres of public land designated to be 'the Garden of Eden', the group should ask for 1,700 acres. The reason for this is that there's going to be another group that wants to level everything on the land to build a strip mall [obvious exteme example]. If both groups then agree that 850 acres would become the 'Garden of Eden', 500 acres become the strip mall and the final 150 acres become access roads then everyone gets something. This helps to get everyone what they want and stop the squabbling.

twochordcool
10-05-2006, 10:24 AM
Pennsylvania has a herd of wild Elk

And they don't have wilderness areas nearly the size of the ones in the Adirondacks.

adk
10-05-2006, 06:22 PM
Absolutely correct.

pondhopper
10-05-2006, 07:59 PM
The history of Elk in the region has been shown. In fact as seen in this first link, recently. (Although this site wants a subscription) but, it speaks of a recent (2006) prehistoric Elk found in North Western NY. http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dpae/cons/2006/0206elk.html

The most significant current research was made by the RMEF who determined (during an Adirondack Elk feasibility study) that Elk did indeed occur in the eastern US including NY State.
http://www.rmef.org/pages/pny.html

Here is a quote from that study

"The eastern subspecies of elk (Cervus elaphus canadensis) occurred in what is now the Eastern United States, including New York, at the time of European colonization (Bryant and Maser 1982). Increased harvest of elk for private and commercial use depleted elk populations in the Eastern United States during the late 1700s and early 1800s. The last record of native Eastern elk in New York was in 1847 (Shoemaker 1939). Elk were extirpated everywhere east of the Mississippi River by the late 1800s (Bryant and Maser 1982)."

I think the fauna in the park has certainly changed dramatically but in fact there are far more forested areas today then 100 years ago. This change is because most inhabitants of north eastern region of the US are no longer dependant on just wood for heat and also clearing for agriculture was far more significant back then. Things are slowly returning to a more natural state. Its seems to me that in the large Wild Forest and Wilderness regions of the park have a great chance to return some of the original inhabitants. I think a carefully monitored and controlled restoration effort could adhere to both concerns about Chronic Waiting Disease as well as concerns about the public and local communities within the park etc. Thats why I think the only practical conversation would be to consider this in small monitored populations as far from populated areas as the Adirondacks could offer.

Pennsylvania has a heard of wild Elk. This is a similar territory with similar concerns. The fact is that they did a great job and now Elk has returned to that region. Hats off to those involved who were able navigate through all the politics and work things out. They have now been there for years without any major problems of any kind. In fact its a boost to the area for eco-tourists etc. Many states in the east have also done this and the eastern Elk heard is strong in fact it is now in the many thousands and growing except that is, for the Adirondacks.

First, let me say that I'm not opposed to trying to get a herd of elk established in the Adirondacks, or somewhere else in N.Y. I'm sure TPTB will approach the possibility, quite scientifically. I'm more interested in finding out about their range in the past, even though they're "all dead" like someone mentioned in another thread.

That being said, no, the presence of elk in the "early" Adirondacks has not "been shown"...Martinsburg is also in "North western N.Y.", but it's not in the Adirondacks, either ....It's near Tug Hill, which was, somehow, included in RMEF's study for the Adirondacks. "Region" can be quite nebulous ;) . The link provided shows the RMEF leaning towards the Catskills for elk reintroduction. No one's disputing that elk existed in NY. The area, where elk are thriving in PA is quite different than the topography (flora) of the Adirondacks and has much less snowfall... hmmm, makes me think the elk horns being plowed up in Martinsburg, may have been a mass winterkill. Brandreth Park is the place where elk reintro was tried and they were aided in the Winter via feeding by park personnel.IMO- It seems unlikely, that if, elk existed in the Adirondacks.....they would've been wiped out at such an early date....wolves were both hunted and trapped and look how long they lasted. I'm thinkin' leatherstocking country along the Mohawk must've been prime elk habitat, back in the day.

Anyhoo, thanks for the informative links adk. Got some dates & stuff :)

adk
10-06-2006, 09:41 PM
Well I'm glad to hear some folks are open to the idea of carefully planned restoration efforts. Theres nothing wrong with being cautious. As far as the scientific evidence about the history of Elk in northern NY, I think that allot is being learned everyday and that as time goes on, we will certainly see more and more facts. Since they did exist (north, south east and west) of the region, well.....let's just say the odds are pretty good that they were here as well. I have never found any mastodon bones in my specific back yard or town or for that matter county, but I accept that they were there until the end of the Pleistocene period. With a large prolific ungulate such as Elk, it's a tough argument to say they were never in the Adirondack regions. I guess we could question if White tails were here in the same way. I have not heard of any thousand year old bones. Im ok with the belief that they were here. But again, there are scientists working to answer that specific question. It's amazing how much emotion on both sides of an issue such as this. Personally I am astonished about opposition to returning native biodiversity in "wilderness" areas (ofcourse I am referring to species that are "from" that region and only became exterpitated because of us humans killing them all etc). A natural die off because of a shift in climate or plant life is a different story and that's a part of the natural order of things (that is not what we are talking about here). As a native american from the region I can tell you that there is words for Elk and Moose and Deer. Since there are words and not long descriptions, then it tells me that pre-euro contact that the animal was here. That is the case for Iroquoin and Algonquin peoples. When you listen to words such as zebra, or rhino, they are long descriptions of the animal since you couldn't just point to one.
Anyway I focus my Elk restoration viewpoint on those regions already set aside as wild forest lands and wilderness territory specifically since those areas are already slated to exist in a "forever wild" state. If we put half the effort into fighting against the acid rain killing our lakes and watersheds as we do going back and fourth about mammalian restoration then imagine the fish that would again swim the lakes and brooks of the Adirondacks.

Here is an article about a state, (Kentucky) that put aside their political differences. Its a good read and I think we could learn from their story.
http://www.rmef.org/bugle/pages/05MA/appalachians.html

Secondly, for those who might not have seen Elk in the wild, (I know some of you have) please visit Yellowstone. In a short time I think youll see the reason why re-establishing wild fauna is a really a worth while endeavor.

pondhopper
10-07-2006, 08:29 AM
Both- seasonal visitors?

Not bad, adk. I think, if I lived back in those days.....I'd build my family's home near a good year round food source and trade routes would develop naturally.

Conversely, "lake effect snow" hits the Adirondacks, but not so much to the N. E. S. & W. But, with recent climate change, elk may have a shot and people aren't as likely to be as disappointed as they would've been 2-3 decades ago.

Interesting topic, I've said all that I will on it ;).

poconoron
10-07-2006, 03:11 PM
Secondly, for those who might not have seen Elk in the wild, (I know some of you have) please visit Yellowstone. In a short time I think youll see the reason why re-establishing wild fauna is a really a worth while endeavor.

For those who can't quite go that far, just travel down to north-central Pa. (Moshannon and Elk State Forest lands) and you will have a great chance of seeing wild elk. I did just that a couple of months ago and spotted my first eastern elk (only about 30 ft. away) just 15 minutes after hitting the trail- and it was a large bull elk with massive antler spread. I estimate his weight to have been around 600-700 lbs., maybe larger. The following day i was lucky enough to spot an elk cow crossing the road about 50 ft. away.

As much as I would like to see elk in the ADKs, I question whether the "forever wild" policy of no logging on state lands could result in enough open habitat for the elk which are grazers rather than browsers. Pennsylvania's state land management allows timbering in a controlled way which allows more "edge" and open areas. The natural fires of pre-settlement times created these open areas and without fire suppression, elk and other species were able to thrive.

I think the ADK "forever wild" policy is a mixed bag of upsides and downsides, depending on which species we are talking about....and I believe elk would not particularly thrive under current conditions.