Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
GEARHART — A resident wants Gearhart to prohibit people from feeding elk.
The animals, known to block traffic, dine on gardens and occasionally menace dogs or visitors, have become an increasing source of concern.
Bebe Michel said she was inspired after attending town halls with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife officials this spring in Gearhart and Warrenton.
Warrenton has an ordinance that prohibits elk feeding.
“In the interest of public safety and the elk herd, I ask the city draft an ordinance prohibiting the feeding of elk,” Michel told the City Council this week. “From that Warrenton meeting, it became clear that the feeding of elk — for example, hand-feeding apples — habituated the elk to view humans as a food source.”
In Warrenton, feeding wildlife other than songbirds or squirrels comes with penalties as high as $250 per offense.
“Please do both humans and elk a favor — do not feed the elk,” Michel said.
Mayor Matt Brown said the city would “definitely have those conversations,” with a council goal-setting session set for July 24 at City Hall.