Elk Numbers Up in East Despite Oil, Gas

Today, on our statewide radio talk show, I interviewed David Allen, the President and CEO of The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.  We spent much of the first half hour discussing the threat of wolves, as several elk hunters in Montana feel the increased numbers of gray wolves is gutting the state’s elk population. 

I asked Allen specifically about the elk herd numbers in Montana.  Elk hunters complain that elk numbers are down due to wolves, while environmentalists counter by saying elk numbers actually increased in Montana.  

Allen said, “We are quick to point out that this is a bogus argument as it is only relevant to debate elk numbers relative wolves where the elk and wolves both exist. To compare elk growth numbers in eastern MT or in the Missouri Breaks area with the impact of a growing wolf population is apples to oranges. A comparison of elk numbers in the western half of MT where wolves are thriving shows significant examples of elk decline.”   

Then, during our commercial break, a caller called in and told us that he wanted us to speak out in support of the Keystone pipeline.  It seemed like an odd distraction over our discussion about elk and wolves, but then it got me thinking.  Wait a minute, there’s oil and gas drilling in Eastern Montana, and the elk numbers are up?  And, there’s wolves in Western Montana, and the elk numbers are down?  I’m just sayin…

Click here to listen to the whole show with David Allen of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.  Plus, hear about his interesting connection with the late Dale Earnhardt.        

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