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Stocking elk in the region was proposed 10 years ago but dropped after strong concerns were raised by the public, legislators and organizations like Missouri Farm Bureau over liability, animal health and habitat issues.
In a letter to Governor Jay Nixon, Missouri Farm Bureau President Charles Kruse urged the governor to reconsider his support for reintroduction of elk in the state.
“Last month the (MDC) commission made an incomprehensible decision to reverse direction and resumed plans to reintroduce elk in Missouri,” Kruse told Nixon in the letter.
“Elk obstruct roads, trample fences, and decimate crops and forage. Disease transmission between elk and livestock is a major concern. Landowners suffer the brunt of the unintended consequences of elk restoration. If imposing these risks associated with elk is deemed acceptable today, then will ‘native’ wildlife species that pose greater risks be next?”
Kruse called the latest elk reintroduction plan another example of government officials rationalizing public policy that ignores the interests of private landowners who are directly affected.
To comment on the plan which initially affects Shannon, Carter and Reynolds counties go to MDC’s Web site at http://mdc.mo.gov/contact-us/elk-restoration-comments.