More than five tons of meat has been donated to the needy through the elk reduction program at Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota.
The program was started in 2010 to keep the park's elk population from getting too high for the landscape's carrying capacity.
This fall park staff culled 69 elk between October 30 and December 6.
“The elk removal effort was successful again this year,” said Superintendent Valerie Naylor. “The National Park Service team is to be commended for doing an exceptional job of completing this year’s project without injuries and with minimal impact to park visitors.”
The backcountry in the South Unit, which was closed three days per week during the elk removal effort, is now open to visitors all of the time.
Meat from the animals taken during the maintenance phase was packed out of the park and donated to Sportsman Against Hunger through the North Dakota Community Action Partnership. To date, 10,052 pounds of meat has been donated.