Jim Oberfoell’s letter to the editor on Sen. Dorgan’s plan to thin the elk herd in Theodore Roosevelt National Park misses a couple of important points.
What Sen. Dorgan has put in the Interior Appropriations bill is exactly what the state Game and Fish Department has advocated. It is also exactly the way the elk herd has been thinned in Grand Teton National Park.
Instead of having the Park Service hire people at taxpayers’ expense, Sen. Dorgan’s common-sense approach is to allow qualified hunters under the supervision of the Park Service to solve this problem without costing the taxpayers a cent.
Again, I say to Mr. Oberfoell: Sen. Dorgan has proposed a plan that is done in another national park — and done successfully. So, it’s not some new untested approach to thin the elk herd.
Mr. Oberfoell says that it’s somehow undemocratic for Sen. Dorgan to take this decision out of the hands of the Park Service when they have been mulling about this subject for some years now.
Well, I don’t remember anybody electing the people who run the Park Service. And the Park Service doesn’t seem particularly interested in what North Dakotans have to say on the matter.
In fact, when the Park Service did a series of public hearings on the elk issue, they didn’t even allow public comments.
Sen. Dorgan’s proposal makes sense and has a lot of support in our state. It’s a win-win situation for sportsmen, wildlife enthusiasts and taxpayers. Kudos to Sen. Dorgan.
Mike Frohlich, Bismarck