Since 1970 controversy has surrounded the status and management of Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus) in northern Arizona. Concerns focused on effects of elk on private and public land, size of the elk population, interactions between elk and cattle, and interactions between elk and humans. Currently, there is no primary literature regarding human perceptions of elk-related damage on ranches in Arizona. In 2001 we surveyed to document perceptions of stakeholders regarding elk management in northern Arizona. A majority of non-rancher stakeholders did not experience conflicts with elk. The public knew little about elk management in Arizona but wanted more information. Ranchers incurred monetary losses due to elk damage and 30% viewed Rocky Mountain elk as an exotic species. We documented a few similarities between ranchers and agency biologists as to reported effects of elk on ranchers' property. This may provide a platform for resource agency managers to facilitate discussion and communication strategies to optimize elk management among ranchers and the general public.
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