It’s especially important that you do so since Logan County is at the geographic epicenter of the Mountain State’s proposed southwestern sector and seven-county elk management zone. This first baby step toward restoration of the once native but extirpated, regal, black-maned and large member of the deer family is finally being taken on this side of the Tug Fork. Folks need to write those letters now.
Do them on an individual basis, not on form letters. Hand written letters are just fine.
If you support elk and the pride, hunting, wildlife viewing and tourism booms that go along with elk a la Kentucky’s tremendous program just across the border, then get those letters in.
County Commissions, other elected officials, sporting clubs, coal, land and timber companies should also chime in.
Elk should be the impetus for partnerships on the local level not seen since the success of the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System.
We must forewarn you that the proposed plan calls for a very long term and “passive” approach to restoration via waiting for Kentucky vagabonds to wonder over our way to start up the population.
So tell them you not only want elk but that you want the program updated from passive to active!
Inaction on the matter has already absorbed too much valuable time.
Even Virginia where an all but hostile stance was taken toward elk has turned the corner and will begin active restoration in 2011.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) and the Commonwealth of Kentucky would surely be available to assist with some trap and transfer or trade for that matter.
They want more bears; we want more elk, simple solution.
RMEF has repeatedly offered its assistance and more importantly seed cash to kick-start the project.
Coal folks have offered to help repeatedly and are always a generous lot. Likewise, elk are keyed into the grazing available on surface coal mine reclaims without which a restoration might not be possible. A win-win situation when considering the frequently criticized utilization of reclaimed coal lands.
It’s time to take action sooner rather than later. Kentucky has already reached a herd of 10,000 head with 1,000 hunting tags issued just last year since their kickoff stocking of 1997. You can clearly see the quick turnaround time to active restoration.
The plan is available for viewing at www.wvdnr.gov. Comments on the Draft West Virginia Elk Management Plan should be postmarked by Oct. 31, 2010, and mailed to: Public Comments Elk Management Plan, Attn: Supervisor of Game Management, WVDNR, P.O. Box 67, Elkins, WV 26241. Again, speak now or forever hold your peace.