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A Multipronged Tussle Over the Fate of Herds Living in an Island Park

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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:14 AM
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A Multipronged Tussle Over the Fate of Herds Living in an Island Park
There are hunters who dream about places like this.

The game unusually large Kaibab deer, Roosevelt elk that lope like thoroughbreds along the wind-scoured ridgelines are trophy quality. All it takes to bag one is a 30-mile trip across the Santa Barbara Channel, a rifle, good aim, a minimum fee of about $8,000 and the existing agreement by the National Park Service to close 45,000 acres of parkland to the public, August through December.

Close a public park to make way for a private hunt? That is not the Park Services preference. When it acquired Santa Rosa Island at the time the Channel Islands National Park was formed in 1986, it accepted a 25-year transition period during which the hunting would continue. It wants the animals off the island. The 1,150 deer and elk, park officials say, compromise the native ecosystem by munching on seedlings of the rare island oaks, for instance.

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