Can Elk Help Build East Kentucky Economy?

In 1997, seven elk were released within eastern Kentucky’s 16 county Elk Restoration Zone, an area that includes Bell, Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Harlan, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, McCreary, Perry, Pike, and Whitley counties.  Since then, the elk have thrived and Kentucky now has the largest elk herd east of the Mississippi River at approximately 10,000 animals.  Big game hunting is bringing a considerable amount of revenue into the state, but many residents within the Elk Restoration Zone feel the resource could be better harnessed for the benefit of the region’s economy.  WMMT reports on a community discussion in Perry County, where the dinner table topic focused on capitalizing on the interest in elk hunting and elk viewing.

ELk -Photo by Noppadol Paothong, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.

Farm & Forestry