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Md. Elk Tourism Would Raise $4.5 Million Annually, Advocates Say

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Nick Turland: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nturland/3467779502/

Proponents of reintroducing elk to western Maryland say tourists coming to see the animals would bring millions of dollars each year into the region.

The Maryland Legislative Sportsmen's Foundation says elk tourism would generate nearly $4.5 million every year.

The group is working with the state's Department of Natural Resources and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to explore the possibility of establishing an elk population in Garrett County, Md., and Allegany County, Md.

But the proposal is drawing skepticism from some local residents. The Garrett County Commissioners oppose the idea. Some farmers say they're worried about damage to crops and property.

The proposal appears to have more support statewide. Earlier this year, a Department of Natural Resources survey of Maryland residents found 75 percent of respondents favor reintroducing the once-native elk.

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