Elk Returning to Tennessee
by Steve McCadams
After an absence of 135 years, elk are returning to Tennessee,
according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA).
During its meeting in Chattanooga on Oct. 24-25, the Tennessee
Wildlife Resources Commission voted to approve a proposal to restore elk
to a portion of the state. The restoration zone includes 670,000
acres located in Campbell, Scott, Morgan, Claiborne, and Anderson
"We are currently working with the State Veterinarian's
Office to develop a disease testing and monitoring protocol," said
Greg Wathen, special assistant to the TWRA director.
"When the details are finalized, we will be obtaining 50 elk from
Elk Island National Park in Alberta, Canada."
If details can be worked out quickly, elk may be back in Tennessee
this winter by December or January. The plan calls for releasing
50-100 animals per year over a four year period.
"The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation will be instrumental in
this program," said Wathen. "They will be providing
substantial funding and volunteer help."
By this time next year, Tennesseans may be able to visit the
restoration area and hear the bugle of an elk.
The information above is
compiled by outdoor writer
Steve is a professional hunting and fishing guide
here in the Paris Landing area and host of the The Outdoor Channel's television series