|Elk Country Visitor Center Under Construction June 16, 2010-photo by W.Hill|
Perhaps the initial happening in a string of events that was to change the situation entirely began in 2002 when Pennsylvania Game Commission Elk Biologist Rawland, “Rawley” Cogan resigned his position as elk biologist with the Pennsylvania Game Commission and went to work for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation as Northeast Lands Program Manager. The next important step was when the RMEF purchased the 245 ace Betta Tree Farm on the lower reaches of Winslow Hill, which became known as Elk Mountain Homestead. It is unclear as to whether the property was purchased with the goal of building a visitor center, but within a short time of the acquisition the possibility was openly discussed and the RMEF Newsletter “Wapiti” featured an article by Julie Cowan in the winter 2007 edition, “Elk foundation, Pennsylvania DCNR Announce Partnership for Visitor Center” , which verified that this was to be the official course of action.
The official groundbreaking for the construction of the center was on September 25, 2008, but actual construction did not begin until late May of 2009 (Source-May 20, 2009 issue DCNR Newsletter “Resource”)
According to the 2007 article by Ms. Cowan, the center was to be open by the fall of 2009, but this was not to be and the project met a major set-back instead when the RMEF abruptly withdrew from the project in September 2009, and transferred ownership of the property to DCNR. It was soon back on track; however, with the founding of the Keystone Elk Country Alliance, which stepped in to fill the void left by the departure of the RMEF and named Cogan as project Manager for the Visitor Center.
|"Rawley Cogan" Project Manager For Visitor Center Addresses "Wild About Elk Workshop" June 16, 2010-photo by W.Hill|
|"Wild About Elk" Workshop Participants Observe Elk Near Visitor Center Parking Area-June 16, 2010- photo by W.Hill|