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Elk restoration proposal draws crowds in southern Missouri

By AP/St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – Public forums on plans to bring wild elk back to the state have drawn hundreds of people in southern Missouri.

The Department of Conservation says about 300 people attended meetings in three communities.

The plan calls for the elk to be tested for diseases before they are brought in from other states.

About 80 to 150 elk would be released early next year in a 365-square-mile area around the Peck Ranch Conservation Area in Shannon, Carter and Reynolds counties.

Conservation officials say the area is mostly public land, with limited agricultural activity.