MADISON—The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is now accepting public input on an update to the state’s elk management plan through Saturday, Jan. 23.

The management plan outlines objectives and strategies to guide elk management in the state through 2030. Review the proposed plan and view a summary presentation here.

Those who wish to provide comment may do so by emailing elkplan@wisconsin.gov or by mail: Wisconsin DNR, Attn: Scott Roepke, 910 Highway 54E, Black River Falls, WI 54615.

DNR staff will present the plan to the public at two virtual open house sessions held virtually on Saturday, Jan. 9 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and on Monday, Jan. 11 from 6-8 p.m.

“The restoration of elk to Wisconsin is a tremendous conservation success story. We’re looking forward to implementing the approaches identified in this draft update to the elk management plan with the input and support of the public,” said Scott Roepke, DNR Wildlife Biologist. “The management plan emphasizes a science-based approach to managing our state’s elk population and will also address diverse issues from tourism potential to agricultural damage.”

Once widespread here and across North America, elk were eliminated from Wisconsin in the 1880s due to unregulated hunting and habitat loss. More than 130 years later, they once again live in Wisconsin’s central and northern forest regions. From a population of 25 elk reintroduced in 1995, and with the help of a second reintroduction effort that started in 2015, the state’s total elk population is quickly approaching 400 animals providing significant viewing and hunting interest in the state.