|RMEF Team Elk Host Brandon Bates, RMEF Vice President of Lands|
& Conservation Blake Henning, KDFWR Commissioner Greg Johnson.
Commission member Frank Williams, RMEF Chief Operating
Officer Rod Triepke (left to right)
“Kentucky has been and remains a prominent example of a state dedicated to ensuring the future of elk and elk country,” said Blake Henning, RMEF vice-president of Lands and Conservation. “Not only did KDFWR and the Commission show great passion and dedication in restoring elk to the native Kentucky landscape, but they successfully worked to implement recent restoration efforts in other states as well.”
KDFWR, the Commission and RMEF worked cooperatively to help release 1,547 elk into Kentucky from 1997-2002. Now with more than 10,000 elk within its borders, Kentucky boasts the largest herd in the East. It also established an annual elk hunt beginning in 2001.
As impressive and successful as that was and is, the award is actually focused more on Kentucky's recent commitment to eastern elk restoration. The Department and Commission pledged their support to successful elk restoration efforts in Missouri (2011) and Virginia (2012), plus they just signed an agreement to assist with elk restoration efforts in Wisconsin. In addition, Kentucky’s wild elk also crossed the state border into West Virginia—a state that is in the midst of determining whether it will launch its own elk restoration efforts.
Our thanks go out to the KDFWR and the Commission for leading the way by example!