The 35-year-old policy to manage wildlife in the area is one with the philosophy, "let nature regulate.'' But, now, the elk herd has outgrown the park and animals frequently wander into nearby towns where they cause car accidents and trample gardens. At the same time, chronic wasting disease, a fatal neurological disease, is threatening the park's deer and elk.
The park is drafting a new plan with help from the bordering towns of Estes Park and Grand Lake, the U.S. Forest Service, and several other communities and agencies.
Park Superintendent Vaughn Baker says he hopes the plan will take effect in the next three years.