Kentucky Biologist Honored for Work in Eastern Elk Restoration
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation 05.08.14
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation recently recognized Dr. Tina Brunjes for her leadership and long-standing commitment to Kentucky’s elk restoration efforts.
“Dr. Brunjes has been and remains a strong advocate for elk on their native range in the eastern part of the United States,” said Blake Henning, RMEF vice president of Lands and Conservation. “Not only was she very active and supportive of elk restoration in Kentucky, but she offered her expertise to other eastern states that also reestablished elk herds.”
Brunjes was the deer and elk program coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources where she was responsible for all aspects of deer and elk management statewide. She worked there for eight and a half years.
Brunjes received the award at the 19th Annual Eastern Elk Management Workshop that took place April 27-30 in Breaks, Va.
“Just two decades ago, there were no elk in Kentucky but the estimated population of today’s herd is more than 10,000. That is a credit to a cooperative effort between Dr. Brunjes, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife and the RMEF,” added Henning.
To date, RMEF contributed $1.4 million to assist with Kentucky’s elk restoration program. The state held its first elk hunt in 150 years in 2001 and now boasts the largest wild elk herd east of the Rocky Mountains.
Kentucky provided elk as a source herd for successful reintroduction efforts in Missouri and Virginia. Elk from Kentucky also since crossed the border into West Virginia where a wild herd numbering approximately 60 now live.