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Skeptics question Md. elk reintroduction plan

CUMBERLAND — A proposal to reintroduce elk in western Maryland is drawing skepticism from local residents.

The Cumberland Times-News reports that more than 40 people attended a meeting in Cumberland on Friday with representatives from the Maryland Legislative Sportsmen’s Foundation, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Department of Natural Resources.

A cattle rancher asked who would be responsible if an elk damaged his fence and his cattle got loose. Other farmers expressed concern about crop damage.

The sportsmen’s foundation says visitors would come to see or hunt the animals. The group says almost three-quarters of Marylanders favored the idea in a telephone survey.

The Garrett County Commissioners have said they don’t want elk in their county.

The DNR says it will weigh public sentiment before deciding whether to take any action.