August 17, 2010
After months of study and public hearings, Virginia is set to decide whether to grow the state's elk population or keep the status quo.
The Virginia Board of Game and Inland Fisheries is scheduled to vote Tuesday in Richmond on one of five management options in the southwest corner of the state. Elk have wandered over from Kentucky, which has thousands of the big animals.
A committee is recommending that Virginia adopt an active restoration plan to ultimately establish a population of 1,200 elk in Buchanan, Dickenson and Wise counties. About 100 elk now roam the Coalfields region.
The possibility of increasing the herd has been opposed by farm interests. They fear the spread of disease and crop damage.