The Wild Elk Institute of Missouri

Wild elk are native to Missouri, and represent an important facet of the State historical and cultural heritage. They once roamed freely across the open prairie and Ozark woodlands of Missouri along with buffalo, deer and wild turkey. Wild elk disappeared from the Heartland in the late 1800's as a result of the habitat loss due to massive clear cutting, as well as unregulated harvest. In recent times, sustainable populations of wild elk have been restored in our bordering states including Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky. The people of these states restored wild elk because of their love and respect for wildlife. Wild elk can make a positive contribution to the quality of life for Missourians as well. For many people, wild elk represent a symbol of wilderness, open space and freedom.

We can not expect, nor do we wish to see numbers of wild elk ever approach those of western states, but we do believe that a manageable population of free ranging wild elk have a place in southern Missouri. Wild elk in Missouri will heighten the awareness of our citizens to the unique characteristics of this magnificent species. They will also serve to educate Missourians of the value that these animals can bring to our lives.

We have succeeded in our first goal of convincing the Missouri Department of Conservation to conduct a feasibility study in order to consider all concerns regarding the restoration of wild elk to Missouri and determine the most suitable area for them to thrive. Similar feasibility studies have been conducted in other states that have recently initiated a wild elk restoration program. This study will improve our chances for a positive co-existence between people end elk.

An effort entitled "Project Show-Me Elk" is being proposed by the Wild Elk Institute of Missouri. This grass roots organization is composed of conservation minded individuals from across Missouri who share one common thread, a deep respect and dedication to wildlife. Our mission is to "Educate the people of Missouri the value of restoring elk to the state and to support the sound management of elk and their habitat.

We invite you to become a member of the Wild Elk Institute of Missouri and join in our efforts for a $10.00 annual membership fee per calendar year. You will be placed on our mailing list and receive periodic updates of our progress. You will also be advised of how you can help Project Show-Me Elk.

Please enclose a check for $10.00 plus any additional donation you may wish to contribute, make it payable to the Wild Elk Institute of Missouri and send it to:

Wild Elk Institute of Missouri
976 Big Bend Station Drive
Valley Park, MO 63088

President: Norm Fogt, (314) 861-3648