Native Village
Youth and Education news

 December 1, 2010, Volume 3

Call of elk soars with majestic authority
Read the entire article: http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/20101024/SPORTS0103/10240372/-1/COLUMNS
Condensed by Native Village

New York: The high-pitched mating squeal from a 1,000-pound bull elk is known as nature's bugle call.

"There's nothing like hearing an elk in the wild, this eerie sound," says Pete Castronovo. "It's wonderful. It makes you feel a part of nature.''

Castronovo is chairman of the Finger Lakes Chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF). RMEF helps improve elk habitat and restore them in eastern states where they were indigenous.

Elk disappeared from the state 150 years due to human encroachment.  They have, however, been re-established in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ontario, Canada. Some have migrated into Virginia and West Virginia. Missouri has OK'd an elk restoration plan.

In the early 2000s, a RMEF study showed that New York's Allegany, Adirondack and Catskills regions were very suitable for elk. But the plan came to a halt in 2005 when chronic wasting disease was confirmed in several cases of whitetails in Oneida County. CWD has been intensely monitored since, and no new cases have been found.

"We really thought we'd help leave a legacy and everything was headed in that direction," Castronovo says. "I think we were on our way to getting DEC approval until CWD popped up. People in the Catskills wanted them. But we'll just keep plugging away."

Benezette, Pa is the epicenter of the Pennsylvania elk herd and only 187 miles from Rochester, NY.  Benezette's human population is 227. The elk population is double that.

"They're free ranging, wild and all over the place," reports John Adamski, a wildlife photographer and executive director of the Finger Lakes Museum project.

Tourists migrate from all over to watch or hunt the Benezette elk, many with world-class antlers. Adamski took some stunning images of them.

"It's really something to see," Adamski says of the elk's turf wars during the September/October rut.

The PA elk are descended from a herd of 50 shipped by train from Wyoming in 1913.  Another 95 arrived two years later and were chased right off boxcars and into the woods.

Soon, however, tensions grew among farmers, hunters, nature lovers, citizens and government. Poaching became rampant. At one point the herd may have been as small as 25.

Eventually, elk came to be viewed as a valuable resource instead of a nuisance. A management plan was created, and in the 1980s and '90s, Pennsylvania's elk population thrived.  More than 800 elk now roam the state's north central region near the NY border.



Happy Holidays!!

 

Volume 1    Volume 2   Volume 3   Volume 4

Native Village

 Backgrounds: Robert Kaufman Fabrics: http://www.robertkaufman.com/

NATIVE VILLAGE website was created for youth, educators, families, and friends who wish to celebrate the rich, diverse cultures of The Americas' First Peoples. We offer readers two monthly publications: NATIVE VILLAGE Youth and Education News and NATIVE VILLAGE Opportunities and Websites.  Each issue shares today's happenings in Indian country.
Native Village is responsible for format changes.
Articles may also include additional photos, art, and graphics which enhance the visual appeal and and adds new dimensions to the articles. Each is free or credited by right-clicking the picture, a page posting, or appears with the original article. 
Our hopes are to make the news as informative, educational, enjoyable as possible.
NATIVE VILLAGE also houses website libraries and learning circles  to enrich all lives on Turtle Island.
 
Please visit, and sign up for our update:
NativeVillage500@aol.com. We are always glad to make new friends!
www.nativevillage.org