A bull elk stands on a ridge in Kentucky [Photo]

A bull elk stands on a ridge eating grass at dusk in Knott County in Kentucky. The training center opened in 2007 on the site of a reclaimed surface mine and is a noted elk viewing area. Elk are most active near sunrise and sunset.

Cattle farmer Bobby Simpson is against Missouri elk restoration [Photo]

Cattle farmer Bobby Simpson, an outspoken opponent of Missouri's elk restoration plan, walks among his cattle on his ranch in Salem. Citing examples from other states with elk, Simpson says he and other Missouri farmers are concerned about damage elk could cause to property, fences and crops. Simpson has supported a resolution in the Missouri legislature to make the Conservation Department responsible for any damages caused by elk.

Conservation Department supervisor Clint Dalbom in the elk restoration zone [Photo]

Perched on a rock, Jim Smith, right, talks with Conservation Department supervisor Clint Dalbom about land transformation in Eminence. The department is working closely with private landowners in the elk restoration zone, offering monetary subsidies for those willing to engage in efforts to support elk habitation and improve living conditions for the herd.

Missouri Department of Conservation supervisor talks about elk trapping [Photo]

Clint Dalbom, a Missouri Department of Conservation regional supervisor who coordinated the elk trapping project, talks about elk biology and trapping methods at Pine Mountain State Park Resort in Pineville, Ky. Dalbom has been with the Conservation Department for 29 years.

William Amburgey elk population on his land [Photo]

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife game officer William Amburgey talks about the elk population that frequents land on his leased property near Hindman, Ky. Amburgey, who was involved in Kentucky's elk restoration program which brought elk to that state in the late 1990s, currently owns and operates Saddle Up Elk Tours.

Melissa Jones shows a photograph of the elk she hit [Photo]

Melissa Jones shows a photograph of the elk she hit and damage to her Chevrolet Metro, which was totaled as a result of an accident in February 2009. As the elk population in Kentucky has exploded, residents have ramped up concerns for their safety on the roads.

Bernice Amburgey pets a horse in Knott County [Photo]

Bernice Amburgey feeds and pets a horse in the family barn in Mallie, Ky. The Amburgeys run horseback tours for elk viewing in Knott County, the self-proclaimed "Elk Capital of the East." Kentucky's elk population has spread to 16 counties with a current herd estimated at around 11,000, allowing for an elk hunting season, tourism opportunities and economic benefits.

Mike Huffman of the Conservation Department walks through elk holding cells [Photo]

Mike Huffman, Conservation Department Outreach and Education division chief, walks through an elk holding pen at the Peck Ranch Conservation Area near Winona. Thirty-four elk trapped in Kentucky were moved to the holding pens on May 5, where they will stay for approximately 30 days to acclimate to the area before being released to the entire ranch. During the 30-day period, gated enclosures allow individual elk to be separated for disease testing or observation.

Environmental features shown for the elk conservation area at Peck Ranch [Photo]

Peck Ranch Wildlife Biologist Ryan Houf shows topographic and environmental features of the conservation area to members of the media. Peck Ranch is the epicenter of Missouri's elk restoration zone, a 346-square-mile area straddling Shannon, Carter, and Reynolds counties in southeast Missouri. The majority of the land in the area is publicly owned, but some private landowners are worried about long-term negative effects the relocated elk may pose.


The Missouri Department of Conservation has begun a three-year program to reintroduce wild elk to the state.

Elk reintroduced to Missouri [Graphic]

The Missouri Department of Conservation has imported elk from Kentucky to reintroduce the species in Missouri, which has not had a wild elk population since the mid 19th century. On May 5, the first batch of elk arrived in southeast Missouri. Officials hope to import 150 elk, which they believe will grow into a sizable wild herd. This has been the case in other Midwest states’ elk reintroduction programs.

City employees plant cherry tree at Cosmo Park [Photo]

Columbia Parks and Recreation employees John Cruit, left, and Jon Hendrell plant a new cherry tree during a rededication of the cherry grove and to commemorate the relationship between Columbia and its sister city Hakusan, Japan, and Hakusan's former mayor Mitsuo Kado on Monday at Cosmo Park. Kado was a strong supporter of the exchange program Hakusan had with Columbia.

Students plant cherry trees to commemorate sister city [Photo]

Hickman High School junior Cori Mead, Janet Russell and Hickman junior Brent Head help plant cherry trees to rededicate the cherry grove and commemorate the relationship between Columbia and its sister city Hakusan, Japan, and Hakusan's former mayor Mitsuo Kado on Monday at Cosmo Park. The students studied in Hakusan during a student exchange program in 2008.

Sheila Durnil [Photo]

Sheila Durnil has faced many hardships, such as threats of foreclosure, being turned down by banks and being a single mother with two children.

Sheila Durnhil works in her home office [Photo]

Durnhil works in her home office. After being rejected twice for a program that helps lower mortgage payments for people who are falling behind, she was finally accepted.

Durnil's home [Photo]

Sheila Durnil, a mother of two, came close to having her home foreclosed upon before being accepted to the Home Affordable Modification Program.

Home Affordable Modification Program closing down [Graphic]

In 2009, the federal government started the Home Affordable Modification Program, which attempts to reduce foreclosures by giving accepted homeowners a three-month trial period of reduced mortgage payments. If they make all their payments, the reduction should become permanent. For the majority of Missouri’s participants, that hasn’t happened - and the four biggest banks have the worst completion rates of all.

NCAA softball selection watch party [Photo]

Missouri senior outfielder Rhea Taylor watches the NCAA Division I Softball Selection Show during a watch party Sunday night at Clinton Club at Mizzou Arena.

Brett Conklin reaches for a rat snake [Photo]

Brett Conklin, 2, holds out his hand to touch a Great Plains rat snake at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Day with Wildlife at Eagle Bluffs.

Children touch painted turtles at Day with Wildlife [Photo]

From left to right, Steven Becvar, 5, Austin Becvar, 4, and Cohen Dugger, 5, touch painted turtles out for display at the Day with Wildlife at Eagle Bluffs. In addition to turtles, there were live snakes, birds, fish and mammal pelts and skulls for visitors to see.