“You’ve made my day!”
Those words came from Gary Cole, a retired police officer, after the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) chose his acrylic painting as the winner of its 100th anniversary of elk poster. His painting depicts a wintry landscape mimicking Wolverine, Michigan, where the state’s original seven elk were released in 1918.
2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of Michigan’s elk population. In 1918, seven elk were brought from the western United States to locations near Wolverine. Today’s healthy and abundant elk population is a result of intentional land management and increased law enforcement.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation also has a history in the Great Lakes State. Since 1990, RMEF and its partners completed 149 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects with a combined value of more than $5.3 million. These projects protected or enhanced 5,600 acres of habitat and opened or secured public access to 943 acres.
Michigan residents can celebrate the 100th anniversary of elk by sporting the DNR elk license plate, available starting Dec. 1.
(Image source: Michigan Department of Natural Resources)