Interesting case, sounds like all involved have been doing some great forensic/research work.
However I find it odd that the elk were ingesting the lichen in the first place considering that it is in the soil. Perhaps a long dry winter was driving them to eat stuff they normally don't in high quantities.
It is good to know it is something common causing the issue. Speculation was running wild that it was human poisoning, some new form of cwd, a new diesease, alien abuduction, etc.... I had even read people theorizing that the elk in true lemming style had just "run themselves to death".
From the books that I have read, there is a lot of importance in knowing every nook and cranny of your hunting territory as well as the animal that you are hunting. So scouting as much as possible, just walking the land, will give you a good idea of what's around the corner or what's on the other side of a hill. Which can be very beneficial.
Making your own maps of human and deer trails, and different types of foliage such as group of pines,...