- Contact information
- Bill Cosh
Director of Communications
Elk restoration survey now available to public
News Release Published: August 1, 2012 by the Central Office
Contact(s): Kevin Wallenfang (608) 261-7589
MADISON – The public can share their reactions to Wisconsin’s efforts to restore elk in Wisconsin through an online survey found on the Department of Natural Resources webpage at dnr.wi.gov and searching the keywords “elk reintroduction.” The survey is open Aug 1-31.
Survey results will provide DNR and its many partners in elk restoration with an understanding of the public’s awareness of and experience with Wisconsin’s wild elk herd and the level of public support for further establishment of wild elk herds in Wisconsin. Wisconsin’s 12-year old Elk Management plan is due for an update and review by the Natural Resources Board.
Wisconsin currently has a small and slowly growing herd of approximately 180 wild elk living in the Clam Lake area of Ashland County. They are descendants of 25 elk captured from a single wild herd in Michigan and released in the Clam Lake area in 1995 as part of a University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point project. Plans at the time included an additional release of elk into the Black River State Forest in Jackson County, but were never carried out.
DNR and project partners are proposing changes to the current plan that would accomplish several objectives.
“Our ongoing goal is to restore self-sustaining elk populations, adapted to the Wisconsin landscape, in these two locations,” said Kevin Wallenfang, DNR big game ecologist. “Current plans call for bringing additional wild elk into the state and carrying out the plan of establishing a herd in Jackson County. The benefits of this effort will be greater diversity in our state’s wildlife community, increased genetic diversity of existing Wisconsin elk, additional hunting opportunities in the future and increased area tourism based on elk viewing opportunities.”
More information on elk in Wisconsin is available on the DNR website.