Special effort to be made to allow Jackson County elk to adjust to new surroundings

Discussion in 'Outdoor News' started by Wisconsin DNR News, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. By Northwest Region March 24, 2015

    Contact(s): Scott Roepke, DNR wildlife biologist, 715-896-4947

    BLACK RIVER FALLS - Special precautions are being taken to help make sure elk received from Kentucky become accustomed to their new home in Jackson County.

    As part of current elk reintroduction efforts, a 7 acre acclimation pen is being built in the Dike 17 Wildlife Habitat Area, located within the Black River State Forest near Black River Falls, Wis. All elk brought to Jackson County from Kentucky will be held in the pen for a minimum of 75 days to satisfy health testing requirements and allow the elk to become familiar with their new surroundings.

    Due to stringent health testing requirements, an 8 acre buffer area surrounding the pen will be temporarily closed to ensure the quarantine period is not jeopardized.

    This closure will help ensure the health and welfare of the elk during quarantine, provide for biosecurity at the quarantine facility and protect facility infrastructure. The combined 15 area will be closed to all unauthorized personnel while elk are held within the quarantine pen, and "no entry" signs will be posted in a 100 foot perimeter around the pen. Maps clearly identifying the closed area will be posted at main property entrances.

    In addition to the closed area, the public is asked to voluntarily avoid the general vicinity of the closed area until the elk are released in early summer. Minimizing human disturbance near the release site will allow the elk to adjust to their new home and help maximize the success of reintroduction efforts.

    Following the release of elk from the quarantine pen this year, signage will be removed from the 100 foot buffer area surrounding the pen. However, the quarantine facility and pen will remain closed to the public for the duration of the 3 to 5 year reintroduction effort.

    For additional information regarding the temporarily closed area, please contact DNR wildlife biologist Scott Roepke by phone at 715-896-4947 or via email at [email protected]

    For more information regarding elk in Wisconsin, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keyword "elk."

    Last Revised: Tuesday, March 24, 2015