1. Elk were re-introduced for the purpose of hunting and should be managed primarily for that purpose. There are several factions to this group. Some would like to see a high proportion of mature bulls maintained for trophy hunting, while others would like to see more hunting opportunities for a larger number of hunters.
2. Pennsylvania has a unique elk herd that is valuable to society as a whole and should be maintained primarily as a viewable resource.
3. Elk are large animals that create a lot of problems such as, crop damage, property damage, and elk-vehicle collisions. They attract large numbers of tourists that clog the local highways at certain times of year. It would be best if they were not here in the first place and it would actually be good if they were eliminated, or at least their numbers be reduced to the level that they are difficult to see.
Herd At Gilbert Viewing Area:This is greatly simplified and cannot be dealt with effectively in one blog post--in fact it would take a book and a quite large one at that.
Some would like to see the herd on Winslow Hill drastically reduced, which would severely damage elk related tourism.
Most importantly many argue that we should do what is best for the resource, after all who can argue with that statement. The problem is that many view what is "best for the resource" through the prism of what they wish to do with elk.
I personally like the view espoused by Ralph Harrison a retired Bureau Of Forestry employee, who dedicated his life to restoring the elk herd.
He believes we should actually do what is best for the Elk, not do what is best for those who want to shoot elk or make money from the shooting of elk. Neither should we manage elk to do what is best for those who wish to make large sums of money from elk tourism, but should do what is best for the welfare of the species itself.
Anyone who is seriously interested in Pennsylvania Elk should purchase Ralph Harrison's latest book," The History of Pennsylvania Elk Country". It is published by The Pennsylvania Forestry Association 56 East Main St. Mechanicsburg, Pa. 17055, and is usually available at Benezette Store.