Elk reintroduction boosts tourism and economy in Southern Virginia

Virginia

BUCHANAN COUNTY, Va. (WCYB/NBC News) A campaign to reintroduce wild elk to southwest  Virginia is finding success.

Buchanan County is coming off of a successful ‘Elk Fest’ weekend and planning for next year.

It follows a decade of work to reintroduce elk to the area. 

“That was the whole goal was to do something to get more folks outdoors, to come to Buchanan County, to visit where we live and see the mountain, but to see the mine reclamation properties after a few years that we’ve got after it was put back, and how it can be utilized for so many different things,” Leon Boyd says. Boyd is chairman of the local Southwest Virginia Coalfields Chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

He was one of many who advocated for the three-year elk release from 2012 to 2014. The elk were brought in from Kentucky to restart Virginia’s program. The recorded number went from 75 to now, an estimated 300.

“The number of people who come to see that after just a few years that it’s been done is pretty amazing,” Boyd says.

Read more: https://bit.ly/3oilrww


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