WELCH, W.Va. (AP) — The Division of Natural Resources has obtained 4,300 acres in McDowell County for an elk restoration program.

Natural Resources director Robert Fala tells the Bluefield Daily Telegraph that the state is leasing the land near the Tug Fork Wildlife Management Area, roughly between Welch and Roderfield.

Fala says the land won’t be restricted to elk. He says it will be open for other public recreation, such as deer and turkey hunting.

The DNR hopes to bring elk from neighboring Kentucky to restore West Virginia’s herd within the next couple of years.

Fala says Kentucky allows only 50 elk to leave the state per year, and Wisconsin is ahead of West Virginia on a waiting list.

West Virginia’s last native elk was killed around 1875.

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Information from: Bluefield Daily Telegraph, http://www.bdtonline.com