Cumberland Times-News

Latest news

January 10, 2013

Pennsylvania residents discuss Rocky Mountain elk reintroduction

CUMBERLAND — As an investigation continues about whether or not to reintroduce Rocky Mountain elk into far Western Maryland, it appears there are a number of residents of the Weedville, Pa., area who would be glad to contribute some of those large animals from their neck of Penn’s Woods.

Jeremy Rippey is a Jay Township supervisor within the appropriately named Elk County.

“There have been a lot of complaints about the elk being in (Weedville),” Rippey said Thursday. “I don’t think anybody wants them all gone, but they don’t want them in their backyards either.”

Rippey said the Pennsylvania Game Commission attended a Jan. 3 meeting with about 100 Weedville area residents. The town population is about 500.

“Nobody spoke in favor of the elk,” Rippey said. “We are at the intersection of two state highways. Last year, 16 elk were struck and killed on Route 255. They cause traffic backups, too, when people stop to watch them. Some drivers don’t pull off the road to do it.”

The elk eat ornamental shrubs, destroy trees and the bulls even use their antlers to damage siding on houses, according to Rippey.

Rippey said the elk are a boon to the area financially.

“People come from the cities — Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and those suburbs — to see the elk and they spend money here.”

Rippey owns a tavern, restaurant and hotel in Weedville and said he benefits from elk tourism.

A phone call Wednesday and an email Thursday from the Times-News to the Pennsylvania Game Commission went unanswered.

According to Rippey, the commission will trap and relocate some elk and harass others into moving. “They also said they would cut the antlers off the bulls, which should make them less aggressive and cause them to seek isolation until they grow back.”

Rippey said he doesn’t know of any injuries to humans from elk, but is aware of pet dogs that have been gored by bulls.

A bull can weigh up to 700 pounds and a cow as much as 400, according to online sources.

The commission will also increase the number of elk-hunting tags in that area, Rippey said.

Rippey said the bulk of Pennsylvania’s elk herd of 800 or so is located about 10 miles from Weedville. “But we have about 70 right here in town,” he said.

Murray Lilley, also a township supervisor, said the elk don’t bother him.

“I’m 55 and they were here before me,” Lilley said. “I like looking at them.”

In August 2011, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Maryland Legislative Sportsmen’s Foundation and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced that a reintroduction of elk would be analyzed for far Western Maryland.

The idea, in spite of being supported by 75 percent of Marylanders contacted in a phone survey by Responsive Management of Harrisonburg, Va., appears to have languished. The newest timetable for a decision is this coming spring, according to Bill Miles of the sportsmen’s foundation.

“We are hoping to meet with small groups of landowners, especially those who have large holdings near public lands, to get their input,” Miles said.

The elk foundation contributed $125,000 to pay for the evaluation of a reintroduction.

Miles said a habitat survey has been put off until the pulse of Western Maryland residents can be more clearly determined about a reintroduction.

“This has never been designed to be a hard sell,” Miles said. “It’s an opportunity, including $5 million in tourism, for the two western counties.

“Some of the comments I have heard opposing the reintroduction have been outrageous,” Miles said, “such as elk coming into school yards and killing kids or having to fence in all of Interstate 68 or coming up with a waste management plan for elk droppings.”

Very shortly after the 2011 announcement, the idea was opposed by the elected Garrett County commissioners and the Maryland Farm Bureau.

Contact Michael A. Sawyers at msawyers@times-news.com.

1
Text Only
Latest news
  • Springs, Pa., man missing since Jan. 6

    SPRINGS, Pa. — Pennsylvania State Police are seeking help to find a Springs man missing since Jan. 6.

     

    April 19, 2014

  • Man charged with handgun crime

    Timothy Hart Winkler, 30, Grantsville, was arrested by city officers early Friday after a complainant and a witness said he pulled a handgun during an argument in front of 124 Seymour St.
     

    April 19, 2014

  • Redman.asp.jpeg Moorefield man jailed on felony drug count

    KEYSER, W. Va. — A Moorefield man was arrested on various charges Thursday, including a felony drug offense for possession of amphetamines, according to the Keyser Police Department.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • City woman charged in domestic call

    CUMBERLAND — A city woman was arrested Thursday evening after Cumberland Police investigated a domestic assault complaint in the 100 block of Pennsylvania Avenue.

    April 18, 2014

  • Carlton.jpg Arrest made in alleged drug deal

    CUMBERLAND — A 25-year-old city man was arrested Thursday night after Cumberland Police observed him allegedly taking part in a drug deal on Columbia Street.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sheriff warns of scams targeting taxpayers

    CUMBERLAND — Allegany County Sheriff Craig Robertson cautioned residents Thursday to be aware of continuing telephone scams that are targeting taxpayers.

    April 17, 2014

  • DSC_0446.JPG Oakland returns to normal after tanker accident

    OAKLAND — Nearly 12 hours after a propane tanker overturned in the heart of its business district, the town of Oakland returned to normal early Wednesday night.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • New River Gorge bald eagle dies from injuries

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A female bald eagle that nested in the New River Gorge has died from injuries suffered last month when she was hit by a train and later by a vehicle.
     

    April 17, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:
     

    April 17, 2014

  • Park Service opens Canal Classrooms Park Service opens Canal Classrooms

    CUMBERLAND – The National Park Service held a ribbon-cutting event Wednesday for a new program called Canal Classrooms, which will offer students pre-K through fifth grade accredited classwork on the Canal Place grounds.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Facebook
Must Read
House Ads
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday