New legislation is being proposed that would force the Missouri Department of Conservation to pay for any property damage caused by wild otters and elk.
GOP House member Rocky Miller of Osage Beach says the Missouri conservation department’s efforts to reintroduce certain species to the wild have caused lots of damage to rural property owners, especially otters.
“You put 4-thousand dollars’ worth of bass and catfish in a pond, and then they’re all gone because these otters will go through them like crazy," Miller said. "I know one guy that I think has spent in the neighborhood of 12-thousand dollars for restocking his ponds.”
Elk have been included in the proposal’s language, even though Missouri’s elk population is confined to a state-run refuge. Bears were included as well, even though conservation officials only track their migration into Missouri.