MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Wildlife managers say Minnesota could use more elk. So they’re seeking input on a draft management plan that calls for growing the state’s small wild elk population and increasing its range.

John Williams, the Department of Natural Resources’ northwest region wildlife manager, says one of main changes for 2016-2020 is to raise the target population for one of the state’s three elk herds, one near Lancaster in Kittson County.

Elk were once native to most of Minnesota but were nearly wiped out by the early 1900s due to overhunting and agriculture. The state now has about 130 elk, all in the far northwest corner of the state.

Public meetings on the draft plan are set for Thursday night in New Brighton, Dec. 15 in Lancaster and Dec. 16 in Grygla.

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