Associated Press Published

New Wildlife Chief Excited About Elk Restoration


The state’s new wildlife chief says a program to restore elk in southern West Virginia has the potential to be a big success, for hunters and non-hunters alike.

Paul Johansen likens the program to the restoration of the state’s wild turkey population.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Division of Natural Resources Director Bob Fala back the elk restoration project, which also has the support of the Legislature.

Johansen was a DNR biologist for more than 33 years. He will head up the agency’s Wildlife Resources Section.

Johansen told the Charleston Gazette the return of elk will not only benefit hunters, but also those who simply want to see the majestic animals.

Elk have been reintroduced in Virginia’s coalfields section.