Elk population growing in Virginia: How should it be managed?

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) has developed an Elk Management Plan to define and describe the future of elk management in Virginia, focused in the Southwest region of the Commonwealth but applying to all Virginians.

The DGIG is asking for public help in a crucial part of the plan development process. With elk established and growing in Virginia, DGIF is planning for long term, sustainable management of the large animal shaped by sound science and public input.

Virginia’s Elk Management Plan is an extensive summary of the current state of knowledge regarding history, biology and ecology of elk and longterm goals, objectives and strategies for how elk will be managed into the future. Those goals were shaped through a process soliciting and fostering input and guidance from various stakeholder representatives as the plan was formed.

The section of the plan describing the goals that will guide elk management is the focal area where the DGIF needs public help.

— How do people feel about elk in Virginia?

— Does the plan anticipate the concerns regarding elk management?

— Are there opportunities that we can anticipate to come from elk management that have not been addressed?

— Are there parts of the plan that require additional clarification?

The purpose of the plan is to provide strategic guidance for the management of elk that will be used by DGIF staff to manage elk into the future and is not intended to detail all strategies that will be used in that management. Please provide all comments to DGIF no later than Dec. 5, 2018.

The fastest and most convenient way to comment on the plan is to visit the DGIF website at www.dgif.virginia.gov and download a copy of the plan. The website will also provide an online portal to submit comments.

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