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Tourism Aid

State officials reintroducing elk to West Virginia

State officials hope reintroduction of elk to West Virginia will help the tourism industry. Initial indications are they are on the right track.

A small herd of elk obtained from Kentucky and Arizona has been established in the wild in Logan County. This fall, state wildlife officials hosted a series of elk viewing tours there.

Twenty tours were held — and they were filled. In addition to Mountain State residents, people from eight other states signed up. Elk were sighted on 19 of the tours.

The fact that so many people (227 in all) from so many states were attracted to the tours is excellent news. It is an indication that with appropriate marketing, the elk herd — and, we hope, others in the future — will give tourists one more reason to come to our wild, wonderful state.

State Division of Natural Resources funding is limited, of course. Reintroducing elk to West Virginia has not been an easy process. But the program should be continued, even augmented, to improve our already successful tourism industry.

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Politics in West Virginia is not like that at the national level. Here, Democrats and Republicans can argue about policy like, well, ladies and gentlemen.

One of the most effective Democrat leaders in that regard has been state Senate Minority Leader Roman Prezioso, D-Marion. This week, he revealed that after serving in the Legislature for three decades, he will not seek re-election next year.

Just this year, during the budget process, Prezioso was a quiet voice of caution. He warned about over-optimistic revenue projections — and it turns out he was right.

As a leader of the loyal opposition during the past few years, Prezioso has earned the respect of his colleagues, of both parties. We wish him well — but also wish he’d reconsider.