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Monday, September 28, 2009

DGIF Proposal Related to Elk in Virginia

The Board of the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) has published for public comment a regulation that would prohibit the hunting of Rocky Mountain Elk within the Commonwealth. From time to time, elk that have been reintroduced in neighboring states cross the border and Virginia has allowed them to be hunted like deer during deer season because the state did not want an established population to take hold. Part of the reason for this was a fear that animals from the west where chronic wasting disease has been a problem, would lead to the disease being introduced in Virginia. Another reason is some landowners in southwest Virginia have not been happy about the prospect of such a large animal traversing their property. But CWD has not materialized in these re-introduced populations and have they have thrived to the point that controlled hunts are now being established in some of the areas to help manage the herd.

This appears to have led to a change of heart, at least at DGIF and the Board has tasked the Director of DGIF to develop a plan of action for the potential restoration of elk in Southwest Virginia. With this in mind, the Board has proposed a regulation that would prohibit the hunting of Rocky Mountain elk within the Commonwealth. There is a current comment period underway that will last until October 1 (it began August 27th). If you have in interest in this issue and would like to submit a comment to support or oppose the regulation, you can do so online.

Just click here to read the proposed regulation and to submit your comment.

The Board will hold a public hearing on the proposal at its meeting 9:00 a.m. October 22, 2009, at 4000 West Broad Street, Richmond, and will consider the proposal for possible adoption as a final regulation amendment at that time.

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