Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2017 - 38
How Did The
Elk Get Here?
The release of elk into Great Smoky
Mountains National Park began in
February, 2001 with the importation
of 25 elk from the Land Between the
Lakes National Recreation Area along
the Tennessee-Kentucky border. In
2002, the park imported another 27
animals. All elk were radio collared and
were monitored during the eight-year
experimental phase of the project.
In 2009-2010, the park began developing an environmental assessment
of the program and a long-term
management plan for elk. Project
partners include the Rocky Mountain
Elk Foundation, Parks Canada, Great
Smoky Mountains Natural History
Association, Friends of the Smokies, the
U.S.G.S. Biological Resources Division,
and the University of Tennessee.