Some Would Like to Stop the Alameda County Tule Elk Hunt


Somebody from the Alamea Creek Alliance would like to put an end to the Alameda County tule elk hunt. Check out their reasoning on their web site at:

I disagree with their conclusion, but I also believe their information is inaccurate. They comment that the hunt could interfere with breeding as it takes place during the end of the elk rut.  That’s close, but most of the breeding goes on in August. (The hunt takes place in October.)In August,  many of the elk concentrate near Maguire Peaks in a valley that is very private, but it’s close to the Sunol and proposed Apperson Ridge quarry. That’s the quarry supported by the Alameda Creek Alliance – a quarry that will just about eliminate the best tule elk habitat in Alameda County.

They also claim that the hunting will disrupt breeding because the hunter will be looking for the largest mature bull in the herd. Yes, the hunter will likely do that, but in October the bulls are dispersed and hang out in batchelor groups separated from the cows. Even if one of the mature bulls were to be killed during the rut, which they won’t, another bull would be happy to step right in. Therefore, their premise is wrong on several counts.

Habitat loss is the biggest enemy of tule elk. Hunting, in comparison, does nothing but enhance their chances for survival. Hunting creates a reason to manage tule elk and creates value in the eyes of humans. Establishing an economic and emotional tie to wildlife makes it relevant. When wildlife is relevant it has a better chance of competing with human habitat – human habitat which is typically not compatible with elk. The Alameda Creek Alliance has its own plan for tule elk.

The Alameda Creek Alliance doesn’t own or control the elk, or any other wildlife, especially big game species which are managed by the State of California. It could be that their interest is more centered on building their organization than a good faith effort to create wildlife habitat. Only their insiders know for sure if this is the case. They do plan to receive money from the Quarry developers in return for blessing the project to go ahead.

Here’s a quote from the agreement between the developer (Oliver-DeSilva Comany) and the Alliance (aka The Center For Biological Diversity, CBD).

• Conditioned upon Approval of Revised SMP-17 and initiation of mining activities at SMP-17, ODS will commence an annual payment to CBD or an entity designated by CBD of up to $250,000 for mitigation for potential noise and disturbance impacts to the Sunol tule elk herd.

 The Alliance cannot legally manage elk without permission from the California Department of Fish and Game, an organization that understands big game management and the significance of a hunting program. If the Alliance were to work with the state, do an about face and incorporate hunting into their program, a plan to conserve and protect the Apperson Ridge tule elk herd would become feasible and enabled.  

Its been proven that with a hunting program in place, a tule elk herd can survive. Without hunting, they’ll be irrelevant and endangered. 


Alameda County tule elk bull


6 thoughts on “Some Would Like to Stop the Alameda County Tule Elk Hunt

  1. Rich- good job-remember too, the largest/dominant males will have already contributed genetic material into the herd in the current year as well as past years!

    I’m assuming there must be a CEQA document for this project that addresses mitigation needs

  2. Gee Rich, what exactly did you do to stop the Apperson Quarry? What’s that? Nothing at all? Just what I thought.

    The ACA agreement on the quarry delays quarrying until 2030 and adds more mitigations for conservation and protecting endangered species habitat than any other quarry in Bay Area history. But I’m sure you would have singlehandedly stopped the quarry and its impacts with some magical armchair activist strategy. Tell me exactly how you would have stopped this quarry, Mr. Armchair Activist. I’m all ears. I suspect you are a fraud and have never fought a quarry in your life, and would have no idea how to go about it or how to determine strategically when you could not, in fact, stop it and how to secure maximum mitigation for a quarry that was already approved.

    The quarry agreement “plan” for elk does not include moving the herd, not sure where you got that lie from. Get your facts straight. No one has proposed moving the elk, nor does the ACA have any plan to “manage” the elk, idiot. Nice of you to just make shit up though. Typical.

    Our organization is not an anti-hunting group, but we are opposed to trophy hunting and hunts with no valid wildlife management basis, and this hunt is both of those.

    There is a CEQA doucument, but it is a complete joke, there is no information at all in it about Alameda elk numbers or population trends. The Fish & Game Commission is not an agency that particularly cares about good science. We have good information that the Sunol herd is declining.

  3. Jeff: Thanks for reading and responding. My concern was primarily related to your misunderstanding of hunting and wildlife managment. Your perspective is much different from mine.

  4. Jeff: I reviewed your material and I do not see that you claim to move elk from Apperson Ridge, however in the press release your info mentions moving elk. To be fair, I edited the post to remove the sentence about moving elk.

    Moving elk was not a big issue with me. The main issue is that your group is opposing the Alameda County Tule Elk hunt.

    Secondary to that, but also important, is the fact that your group has inserted itself into a position which belongs to the State of California and your group is also scheduled to receive funds, related to elk, in return for approval of the project.

    You incorrectly assumed that I opposed the project. In fact I took no position with regards to the project.


  5. Nobody is proposing moving the Sunol elk, our press release does not mention moving elk – that is not true. Alameda County proposed it as a mitigation, back in 1995. It was dropped as a mitigation when DFG announced a policy of not translocating elk – over 15 years ago! Nothing in DeSilva’s quarry plans, the County’s mining permit or our agreement proposes to move elk. We are not going to manage elk in any way, we are a non-profit conservation group, not a management agency.

    Our agreement requires DeSilva to pay an annual elk mitigation payment if and when they start quarrying at Apperson – that we will spend on elk conservation and habitat protection. None of this would have happened without our agreement – in fact there would have been no mitigation for elk at all.

    We have not inserted ourselves into anything. Somehow you are under the mistaken impression that our agreement involves us somehow managing elk, which it does not. Where did you get that idea from, or did you make it up?

    Without our agreement, Apperson would be opened for mining now, with the already aprroved ashphalt and concrete plants on the ridge, and with none of the mitigations or environmental enhancements in the agreement. You should probably read it and get some context before you criticize.

    You are a typical right-winger – you accuse environmental groups of selling out or being hypocritical based on completely fabricated information and completely out of context. The ACA has done nothing but vastly improve the situation for elk and conservation measures from the Apperson project.

    As for the elk hunt, we do not think it is justified given that the Sunol herd is declining. End of story.

  6. Jeff: I didn’t think I’d have to research the news release again. Quote:
    ……..said Peter Galvin, conservation director
    at the Center for Biological Diversity. “These historic conservation plans will result in permanent protection of more than 600 acres of endangered species habitat and secure funding for reintroduction and enhancement of tule elk. This agreement is a good deal for wildlife and a boon for conservation and restoration projects in the area for the next
    half century.”

    “Reintroduction” typically means moving. Maybe you have some way to reintroduce elk without moving them.

    None of the post is fabricated and it is taken directly from you organization’s own notices. Anybody can read them and come to the same conclusions I did.

    However, I resubmit. The basic problem I have is that you do not understand the goodness of hunting and traditional wildlife conservation.


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