Bill Requires Conservation Agency To Own Elk
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) -- Several Missouri lawmakers are seeking to require that conservation officials pay for damage caused by elk re-introduced into the state. The state Conservation Commission has approved a plan to restore wild elk in a 346-square-mile protected zone in parts of Shannon, Carter and Reynolds counties. Up to 150 animals could be introduced later this spring and are to be fitted with radio collars to track their movement.
That plan has prompted criticism from farmers. House member Rodney Schad, a Republican from Versailles (ver-SALES'), has proposed requiring that the Department of Conservation own the introduced elk. Conservation officials would be financially responsible for damaged crops and wrecked vehicles.
The Conservation Department says the legislation could set a dangerous precedent for ownership of other wildlife.