Elephant Mountain WMA was given to, and accepted by, the Department for the purpose of increasing big game animals which at that time included elk, page 10. The WMA’s primary goal is stated to be the restoration of native species”, page 29.
When the original settlers came, they took their teams and wagons up the valley bottoms. The wagon wheels nicked the turf, and this started gullies which can develop violently during fast runnoff. Left untreated, these will eat whole valleys.
This declares an ’emergency’ need to reclassify, which avoids three readings and notice to the public. Reclassification was passed before word got out. Legislative declaration that elk are not native is scientifically meaningless, but this law is taken by the Department today as more-or-less mandating elk removals, which it does not.