Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation highlights decades of NCASI-led elk research
Bugle, a publication of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, is featuring the work of NCASI’s John and Rachel Cook in its July/Aug issue. Below is an excerpt from the article by Paul Queneau, “Can Glory Days Come Again to the Clearwater?”
In 1990, John Cook began raising a tame herd of elk at the U.S. Forest Service’s Starkey Experimental Station, which spans 28,000 acres in the Blue Mountains of northeast Oregon. Surrounded entirely by a high fence, Starkey allows for controlled research scenarios that would be next to impossible anywhere else.
“The decision to create a captive elk herd at Starkey stemmed from the considerable foresight and perseverance of Jack Ward Thomas and Larry Bryant of the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station, Larry Irwin at NCASI, Robert Riggs of Boise Cascade Corporation, with collaborative support from Bruce Johnson of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and funding support from RMEF,” says Cook. “The herd numbered up to 150 elk in the 1990s, and the effort represented a truly unique federal-state-private partnership that is producing new research findings even now.”