Cumberland Times-News

Local News

July 17, 2013

Area’s concerns curtail elk reintroduction plan

CUMBERLAND — Unable to secure enough support from residents of Garrett and Allegany counties, a group evaluating the reintroduction of Rocky Mountain elk there announced Wednesday the idea is being scuttled.

“Concerns ranging from vehicle collisions and crop damage to the potential for disease outweighed all other considerations,” wrote William Miles, Maryland Legislative Sportsmen’s Foundation, in an email to the Maryland District 1 legislative delegation.

“Efforts to mitigate such concerns through experiences shared by other states with elk simply did not resonate,” Miles said.

The idea was jointly announced in August 2011 by the MLSF, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

“From the onset, the partnership made clear that any decision for reintroduction would be predicated upon acceptance by the citizenry,” Miles wrote. “Heartened by the results of a supportive public opinion survey coupled with projected revenues that could be realized in the region from visitor spending, the partnership thought it might be possible to secure local support. However, this did not prove to be the case.”

Early opposition came from the Garrett County commissioners and the Maryland Farm Bureau.

A meeting was conducted in Cumberland in November 2012 to obtain additional public input.

“I think they made a smart move shutting it down,” said Jerry Zembower, president of the Allegany-Garrett Sportsmen’s Association.

“Garrett County was dead-set against it so the only place left was Allegany County. The largest tract of land in Allegany is the Green Ridge State Forest and that is where chronic wasting disease was found.”

Zembower said it would make no sense to release perfectly healthy elk into an area where a disease has been discovered to which they are susceptible.

“AGSA never did take a vote on the reintroduction, but our clubs were telling us they opposed it,” Zembower said.

Miles pointed out that no public money was used to evaluate the potential reintroduction. The elk foundation paid the bills.

Contact Michael A. Sawyers at


Text Only
Local News
  • BOSTON PERSEVERES Solemn tributes mark one-year anniversary of marathon attack

    Survivors, first responders and relatives of those killed in the Boston Marathon bombing marked the anniversary Tuesday with tributes that combined sorrow over the loss of innocent victims with pride over the city’s resilience in the face of a terror attack.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Two offers for former Footer Dye Works site

    Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority officials announced Tuesday that two proposals have been received for the development of the Footer Dye Works building.

    April 15, 2014

  • Legislation strengthens prison guard investigations

    Legislative efforts to improve prison security were overshadowed this year by marijuana and minimum wage bills, but supporters say they will help prevent another high-profile scandal like the Black Guerrilla Family case at the Baltimore City Detention Center.

    April 15, 2014

  • Maryland simplifies rules for domestic violence victims seeking issuance of protective orders

    People seeking protective orders for domestic violence should have an easier time proving the case for issuing an order after Gov. Martin O’Malley signed a bill into law that changes the standard of proof used in court.

    April 15, 2014

  • Mineral County students return to class Aug. 14

    The first bell of Mineral County’s 2014-2015 school year will ring on Aug. 14. That’s if the West Virginia Department of Education approves a calendar voted on by school system employees and approved unanimously by the Board of Education on Tuesday night.

    April 15, 2014

  • Talk with Tennant Talk with Tennant

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • PSC investigating five energy suppliers over high bill claims

    Winter electric bills hit many consumers hard, but most complaints to the Maryland Public Service Commission involved so-called variable rate contracts. While the contracts can result in savings, they can also hit consumers hard during times of high electrical demand.

    April 15, 2014

  • Cottontail sale Cottontail sale

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Latest warrant sweep results in 33 arrests

    The Cumberland Police Department’s Safe Streets latest warrant initiative resulted in 33 arrests last week with 36 warrants served.

    April 15, 2014

  • DANIEL RADKO Radko candidate for Mineral County Board of Education

    I am running for the Mineral County Board of Education. My goal is to continue to help students reach their potential. I have lived and worked my adult life in Mineral County as a special education teacher. My wife, Susan, is a community services manager in Mineral and Hampshire counties for the Department of Health and Human Services. We have two children; son Sean teaches social studies at Keyser High School and daughter Dr. Lindsay Knuth is an audiologist in Charlotte, N.C. We have a grandson Aidan who attends Keyser Primary School.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo