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WHEREAS Alberta ungulate populations, primarily Elk are increasing rapidly due to current Wildlife Management policies; and WHEREAS The increased numbers of Elk are responsible for damage to hay land, pasture, forages and other crops primarily located in the White Zone; AND WHEREAS Traditionally Elk herds migrate from high summer ranges to winter ranges in lower mountain valleys and foothills, found in the green zone of Alberta; and AND WHEREAS Local Elk herds are establishing year round populations in the White Zone; and AND WHEREAS Sustainable Resource Development has responded to high ungulate numbers in some areas of the province by instituting liberal hunting seasons and increased bag limits;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta association of Municipal Districts and Counties address this challenge by urging the Provincial Government and Alberta Sustainable Resources Development, Fish and wildlife division to increase hunting limits and extend the season on elk populations in all Wildlife Management Units containing any of Alberta’s white zones.
Non-migrating herds of Elk (Cervus Elaphus) are becoming established in Alberta’s agricultural areas. These local populations are destroying both standing and stockpiled forages intended for cattle feed. The damage is compounded by the fact that the elk trample and defecate on unconsumed forage rendering it unpalatable. Limited effective control measures are available for producers dealing with the dilemma of the non-native herds. Relaxing hunting regulations in Agricultural zones will reduce the number of non-native Elk, while having no effect on Elk populations in their traditional habitat.
Sustainable Resource Development has lengthened seasons, added new hunting seasons, and increased harvest goals in many of the white areas that have increasing elk populations. In October 2007, the Fish and Wildlife Division of the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Development (SRD) conducted a survey regarding Sunday hunting. SRD is currently investigating the merits and support for this practice province-wide.