Elk NetworkMinnesota Considers Elk Restoration

Conservation | May 20, 2020

Officials with the Fond du Lac tribe in eastern Minnesota maintain they want to restore wild elk to their lands. They believe it is part of their culture and also in their best interest regarding their historic treaty rights to do so.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the state agency charged with managing wildlife, has not commented much on the issue. That is, until now.

“It’s a commitment to talk,” Dave Olfelt, DNR director, told the Duluth News Tribune. “We view this is a collaborative process. It’s their idea. But we’re going to have to work together.”

Significant obstacles include receiving local support as well as approval from state leaders. Additionally, funding is needed as is a source herd. The spread of chronic wasting disease makes it increasingly difficult for animals to be moved across state lines.

(Photo source: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources)