Friday, February 15, 2008

Elk Seeking

We did go looking for elk on Tuesday. Stopped by the meadow where M. had seen them at dusk on the weekend. No elk. We drove on up the Elwha; edged up to the fence at Glines Canyon Dam to think about its coming down (the ever-sliding date most recently given as 2012); and on up towards Observation Point until there was too much snow on the road. Came back down, admiring the river as we went. Stopped at the meadow again and sat by the side of the road for quite a long time. Waited for elk. No elk.

Along came a Park ranger. 'We're waiting for the elk,' we said. He laughed. 'They're on a schedule?' 'Well, they were here the other evening, wasn't it you who was here when I saw them?' asked M. 'I wouldn't wait too long,' he said, 'that was the only time I've seen them here for months.'

We went back to town, had supper, went to a talk at Park headquarters about watershed restoration. Saw slides and listened to tech talk about work on the Little Hoko River, the East Twin River, and Salt Creek. Some successful (as measured by return of salmon runs), some less so. The scientist didn't want to talk about the Elwha project. Questioners cornered him at the end : would it work, would the salmon come back to the Elwha. It was hard for him to answer, the Park was his host for the evening and he doesn't believe the Park's party line. Hatchery fish are not going to take, he said. A couple of species will repopulate, others not.

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