Save Rare Elk


Target: Charleton H. Bonham, Director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Goal: Push for a comprehensive management plan to protect California’s rare elk populations.

In the 1870s, a once thriving population of 500,000 tule elk (California’s only endemic elk species) became drastically reduced due to overhunting and habitat loss to just two individuals–one male and one female. Today, thanks to state-sponsored conservation efforts, 403,000 elk roam California, according to a recent article in the LA Times. Even though these populations are already isolated throughout the state, which actually threatens their ability to reproduce as a species, many California farmers and ranchers feel that their way of life is now being threatened. Push to continue protections for these unique, iconic animals with a conservation management plan to balance both interests.

The recovery of the tule elk population stands as a major environmental success story. The tule elk has become a unique attraction for tourists visiting the Tule Elk State Natural Reserve to view a herd of these peaceful creatures.

Still, increasing ill-feeling among dairy farmers and ranchers makes the need for political action all the more urgent. With social tolerance for tule elk decreasing every day, government conservation efforts have been greatly diminished in turn. According to the LA Times, California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife has been caught in the middle, and so have “quietly stopped” expanding herds of tule elk, which are not officially threatened or endangered.

Remembering that it was a cattleman, Henry Miller, who led efforts to restore populations of these animals in 1874, offers some hope for a plan that eases the stress of farmers and ranchers while maintaining populations of tule elk. Please sign the petition below and help save this rare species from extinction by urging the Director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to maintain current conservation efforts.


Dear Director Bonham,

I am writing in order to bring your attention to the growing conflict between cattle ranchers and farmers and thriving populations of tule elk. Once nearly extinct in the 1870s, the tule elk experienced a dramatic recovery, thanks to state-sponsored conservation efforts. Today, however, I understand that due to low political support, your agency has been focusing on responding to complaints of “excess elk,” rather than expanding populations, according to a recent article in the LA Times.

I urge you to lead the way in creating a conservation management plan for tule elk populations. Your leadership is essential to maintaining the well-being of both California’s farmers and ranchers and the tule elk populations.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Gary R. Zahm, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikimedia Commons

Sign the Petition

  • Only your name will be displayed. By signing, you accept our terms and may receive updates on this and related causes.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
FacebookCare2 NewsTwitterEmailShare


  1. The elk were there before the farmers arrived. Don’t they have any rights to live in peace on their own land?

  2. Karen Remnant says:

    The only ‘excess’ animal around is the human animal!

  3. caryl sawyer says:

    I don’t know who Fish and Wildlife work for, but it certainly isn’t me. They do very little in the way of protecting any animals.

    Call your congressman if you want anything done, not a bureaucrat.

  4. Catherine Alquier says:

    We should preserved them.

  5. Elk, wolves, burro’s, coyotes….how many more will we KILL to please the ranchers so their livestock can graze on our PUBLIC LANDS?

    We really need to fix this!

  6. PUT THE RANCHERS IN THEIR PLACE …. Ranchers have other options, ranchers have choices …..

    WHERE is our wildlife to go? What are their options? They have NONE! WHERE is their home!

    Our wildlife animals should get land where they can live happily and comfortably and freely … The govt is their only choice … our wildlife has only ONE homes!

  7. Victoria Salter says:

    I care about the elk, but I would like to know whether or not such a plan would involve the killing of wolves or other creatures before I sign…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *




7700 Signatures

  • Marga Gili
  • Marga Gili
  • Ram Dar
  • Tim Maurer
  • K. Smith
  • Joel Quaintance
  • Carolyn Taylor
  • J Varcoe
  • Gos Mur
  • maurizio zippoli
1 of 770123...770
Skip to toolbar