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DNR sets northwest elk meeting in Greenbush

Elk management in Kittson and Marshall counties of northwest Minnesota and plans to update the existing elk management plan will be the focus of a meeting set for 6:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Greenbush (Minn.) High School.

“Our goal is to inform people about the northwestern Minnesota elk herds and let them know how they can participate in the elk plan revision,” said John Williams, northwest regional wildlife supervisor for the Department of Natural Resources in Bemidji.

DNR staff will present information on elk history, managing habitat, damage the animals can cause and the process for revising the plan that will guide elk management from 2016 through 2020.

Three small elk herds roam northwest Minnesota: The Kittson Central herd near Lancaster, Minn.; the Grygla herd in Marshall County near Grygla, Minn.; and the Caribou-Vita herd, which ranges from northeast Kittson County into southern Manitoba.

The DNR recently completed an aerial survey showing the three distinct herds contain 108 elk.

The DNR also is seeking nominations for people interested in serving on elk work groups:  one for the two Kittson County herds and one for the Grygla herd. DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr will select and appoint members to each group.

There’s been growing interest in Kittson County to expand that elk herd, and a defunct chapter of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association recently reorganized in Hallock, Minn., as part of an effort to accomplish that expansion and gain a louder voice on the elk working group.