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55. Appalachia’s Greatest Conservation Story: Elk Restoration in Southwest Virginia with Jackie Rosenberger, Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, and Avery Rose, Breaks Interstate Park

“For almost 200 years we didn’t have this native animal. It was because of volunteers and people like Jackie with Virginia DWR and their combined efforts with Breaks Park who worked together to restore the area that elk have returned. Visitors are amazed at how big and how majestic the animal is. It’s like an entire rainbow of emotions – excitement, joy, I’ve even had people cry.”Avery Rose, Breaks Interstate Park


The mountains of Virginia’s Appalachian Plateau echo with a sound not heard in over a century – the bugle of bull elk.


In this episode, Jackie Rosenberger, Elk Project Leader for the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources and Avery Rose, Elk Tour Manager for Breaks Interstate Park, trace the hoofprints of these majestic creatures from their local extinction to the present-day flourishing population that attracts visitors from around the country and beyond.


The story of elk restoration is a narrative of resilience and ecological triumph that’s etched into the very landscape of the region.


Join us for a journey that’s not only about the past and present of these magnificent animals, but also about the future they’re shaping for Southwest Virginia. Let’s Go!


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Mentioned in this Episode:

Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources Elk Viewing

Virginia DWR Instagram I Facebook

DWR Elk Cam

Breaks Interstate Park 276-865-4413

Breaks Park Instagram I Facebook

Breaks Park Elk Bus Tour Reservations

Southern Gap Elk Fest Oct 24 – 26