Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Group of Elk on Yurok Tribal Land

October 2023 (approx.)

Detailed Description

The Yurok prairie habitat that the Roosevelt Elk inhabit is a significant part of their traditional lands in Northern California. This habitat primarily consists of expansive, open prairies mixed with forested areas, which are typical of the region along the Pacific Coast from Northern California to British Columbia. These prairies offer an ideal environment for the Roosevelt Elk due to the availability of both grassy areas for grazing and forested areas that provide cover and additional forage.

The prairies on Yurok lands are managed with a combination of traditional practices and modern conservation efforts to maintain the health of the ecosystem and support a diverse range of wildlife, including the Roosevelt Elk. These management practices often include controlled burns, which help stimulate the growth of new plants, manage underbrush, and maintain the open landscapes that are characteristic of prairie ecosystems.

The Roosevelt Elk, the largest of the four subspecies of elk in North America, rely on these prairies for their survival, using the open spaces for feeding and the wooded areas for shelter and calving. The Yurok Tribe's efforts in safeguarding and restoring these habitats are crucial not only for the welfare of the elk but also for preserving the ecological balance and biodiversity of the region. These efforts are often intertwined with broader goals of environmental stewardship and resilience against the impacts of climate change, highlighting the importance of these habitats for both cultural heritage and ecological health.


Public Domain.

This photo was taken by Michelle Stern, PhD, USGS California Water Science Center.