This consultation was open from:
July 23, 2014
to September 8, 2014
Between 1998 and 2001 the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), in collaboration with many partners and volunteers, released 443 elk from Elk Island National Park in Alberta at four locations across the province as part of an elk restoration program.
Description of Policy
Between 1998 and 2001 the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), in collaboration with many partners and volunteers, released 443 elk from Elk Island National Park in Alberta at four locations (Bancroft, Blind River, south of Sudbury and south of Kenora) across the province as part of an elk restoration program. Since 1998, monitoring has revealed that restored elk herds have grown, dispersed and in some areas struggled with adapting to Ontario’s diverse landscape patterns and uses.
In 2009, following public and stakeholder consultation, the ministry released Ontario’s Cervid Ecological Framework which provides overarching provincial guidance for the sustainable management of all Ontario’s cervid species (moose, deer, caribou and elk). Consistent with the Cervid Ecological Framework, and in response to the need for more species specific guidance for the management of Ontario’s elk populations, the ministry released an Elk Management Plan in 2010 and the Elk Population Setting Guidelines in 2011, following public and stakeholder consultations. The plan includes a number of objectives, strategies and actions to guide management decisions that support sustainable and healthy elk populations.
Based on elk population monitoring information and biological assessment, it has been determined that herds in the Sudbury area (Nipissing-French River herd - NFR) have not grown substantially and are experiencing mortality factors that inhibit the population from reaching self-sustaining levels. Under guidance from the Cervid Ecological Framework and with direction from the Elk Management Plan and the Elk Population Objective Setting Guidelines, a proposed population objective of 500 elk (range 400 to 600) has been prepared for the NFR elk population which would give consideration to a broad range of ecological, cultural and socio-economic factors. The population objective will guide future management and research actions which may include facilitated satellite herd establishment in areas removed from high mortality sources (e.g. railways), understanding population dynamics with regards to calf predation rates, and encouraging herd fidelity in remote areas using soft-release techniques. The preparation of this population objective is part of the continued implementation of Ontario’s elk management program as it evolves from a restoration based program to one focused on sustainable population management. Elk population objectives for the Bancroft-North Hastings herd were approved in 2011. MNRF continues to work towards setting population objectives as per the guidelines for the remaining herds in the province.
Purpose of policy
To consult on a proposed elk population objective for the NFR elk herd which will guide local management/research actions and support self-sustaining local elk populations for the continuous provision of ecological, cultural, economic and social benefits to the people of Ontario.
The following web links provide additional (or supporting) information
- Proposed Elk Population Objectives for the Nipissing-French River Herd (Sudbury Area) http://apps.mnr.gov.on.ca/public/files/er/nipissing-french-river-elk-population-objective.pdf
- Approved Elk Population Objectives for the Bancroft-North Hastings herd http://www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEB-External/displaynoticecontent.do?noticeId=MTEwNTI2&statusId=MTY3ODA1&language=en
- Elk Population Objective Setting Guidelines http://apps.mnr.gov.on.ca/public/files/er/elk-population-objective-setting-guidelines.pdf
- Elk Population Objective Setting Guidelines – Executive Summary http://apps.mnr.gov.on.ca/public/files/er/elk-population-objective-setting-guidelines-executive-summary.pdf
- Elk Management in Ontario website https://www.ontario.ca/environment-and-energy/elk-management-plan
Other public consultation opportunities
Preliminary consultation regarding elk population objectives for the NFR herd has occurred with local stakeholder groups. Additional consultation and outreach may occur locally concurrent to this policy proposal posting.
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