(AP) — Elk could begin returning to West Virginia next spring.
A new elk management plan released by the Division of Natural Resources calls for the agency to acquire and stock 150 elk in seven southwestern counties by 2019. The plan assumes that some elk will be available by the spring of 2016.
Natural Resources wildlife chief Paul Johansen said the agency hopes to obtain elk from Kentucky but no agreement has been reached.
Johansen says Kentucky's elk have adapted well to the Appalachian landscape. But he wouldn't rule out pursuing commitments from other states.
Under the plan, the elk would be contained in a management zone in Boone, Lincoln, Logan, McDowell, Mingo, Wayne and Wyoming counties.
West Virginia's last native elk was killed around 1875.