Discussion Topic: Should Hunters Thin Park Herds?

There are too many elk in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park and North Dakota’s Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and there’s been a push in both to allow private hunters—instead of sharpshooters--to thin the herds. So far, however, the Park Services’ answer has been, “Sorry, we can’t do that.”

The National Park Service appears to have the authority to allow elk hunting in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, congressional researchers say. The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service said in a letter to Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., that federal law allows "authorized agents" of the National Park Service to thin animal herds. That means qualified private hunters with authorization from the agency could be used to help control the elk population in southwestern North Dakota national park.

So if they can, is there any reason they shouldn’t?