Your North Carolina Link to the
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
The 2001 Elk Release
It was a crisp clear morning in the Cataloochee Valley. Folks started to gather early. The Great Smokey Mountains Chapter was on hand with some warm refreshments and we all did what we could to stay warm until the release.
At long last, the tractor was hooked up and the elk headed up the trail towards the holding pen. As they went past, it was exciting to see them looking back at us from the small windows in the trailer.
The tractor crossed the stream that runs along the side of the meadow and headed up toward the holding pen. We headed up the trail on foot after the tractor had started up so that there would not be so many people anlong the way to freighten the elk.
These two pictures show the edge of the holding pen and the observation areas that were designed into them. Much of the top platform was reserved for the press. The lower level had a multitude of viewing holes that allowed observers to see the elk as they ran from the trailers.
The next page has the pictures of the elk as they were released.
Russ Morton - North Carolina Volunteer Webmaster 336-463-4555 or e-mail