Sixty elk will be making their way to West Virginia in 2018 through a partnership between the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
During its August 4 meeting, the Arizona Game and Fish Commission unanimously approved the capture of five dozen elk to be transported to West Virginia as part of the WVDNR’s ongoing elk restoration project.
Arizona Game and Fish Department staff, assisted by WVDNR staff as needed, will capture the elk sometime between January and March of next year using helicopters and other safe trapping techniques.
They will be held in quarantine for disease testing purposes and then transported to West Virginia by a professional livestock hauling company. The elk will be delivered to their release site on the Tomblin Wildlife Management Area in Logan County, where they will join the nearly two dozen elk received from Kentucky in late 2016.
“This is an exciting time as we continue our efforts to restore this magnificent species that once was native to our state but disappeared more than a century ago,” said Paul Johansen, chief of the WVDNR Wildlife Resources Section. “We are very happy to be working with our colleagues at the Arizona Game and Fish Department to make this happen. I am confident they share our enthusiasm for this project."
“We’re pleased to assist the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources in its efforts to restore elk to their native range,” said Arizona Game and Fish Commission Chairman Jim Ammons. “Helping restore wildlife populations is in keeping with the vision of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, using science-based principles to manage wildlife in the public trust.”
Read more about West Virginia’s Elk Management Plan.