Officials have announced a deal that secures over 32,000 acres of land for West Virginia's elk habitat in the southwestern part of the state.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports officials from The Conservation Fund and the state Division of Natural Resources announced this week that 32,396 acres of forestland has been acquired for permanent public use, primarily for elk hunting and elk watching.
All of the involved lands are located in Logan, Mingo and Lincoln counties.
The Conservation Fund, an Arlington, Virginia-based nonprofit organization, made the purchase. The DNR will purchase the land in phases, using money from the state's share of federal excise taxes on hunting equipment as well as grants.
The Conservation Fund's vice president Joe Hankins says the deal is a win-win proposition for all West Virginians.