The Oct. 2 article in The Daily Astorian, “Gearhart council candidates take on key issues” needs clarification.
1. The elk herd is not a City Council issue as portrayed by the paper and candidate Jack Zimmerman, but falls under the purview of Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. This has been explained in council and informal public meetings.
2. The ODFW did not allow Costco and Walmart or urban sprawl to push the herd out of its environs and into city streets.
3. Most egregious is Zimmerman’s statement that the elk herd has hoof rot disease. I have seen elk with this debilitating disease, the symptoms of which are very apparent. The herd spent Oct. 2 in my yard and I can say that none have this disease. ODFW has confirmed that the herd does not have hoof rot, so I decided to correct the record.
It is disturbing that a candidate would be misinformed and spread misconceptions. The current council is pursuing a citizen’s suggestion to prohibit feeding of wildlife.
They continue to provide information to citizens for ways to discourage elk from feeding on landscaping. They post warning signs on how to stay safe from aggressive elk behavior.
These actions are within their responsibilities and helpful to the citizens.
I am one of the citizens who considers the elk an enjoyable part of our natural environment. I don’t believe I am the only one holding this view.