H101: Adopt Haywood Co. As Elk Capital of NC. Latest Version



AN ACT ADOPTING HAYWOOD COUNTY AS THE ELK CAPITAL OF THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA.

Whereas, due to overhunting and habitat loss in the mid‑1800s, the elk population was drastically reduced in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park; and

Whereas, in 2001, an initial 52 elk were released in Cataloochee Valley, a section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, located in Haywood County as an experimental project to reintroduce elk in the area; and

Whereas, reintroducing the elk has been a resounding success in Haywood County, resulting in a herd that has grown to over 200 elk; and

Whereas, the herd can be spotted in Cataloochee Valley, Maggie Valley, and other parts of Haywood County; and

Whereas, the elk project has played a large role in tourism to Haywood County; and

Whereas, local restaurants and shops in Haywood County proudly post pictures of the elk in front of their establishments and on social media to attract more customers; and

Whereas, the elk is a great part of Haywood County's brand and is used heavily in its logo and marketing; and

Whereas, Haywood County created the Smoky Mountain Elk Fest, an annual festival to celebrate the reintroduction of the elk and the conservation and habitat of the elk; and

Whereas, Haywood County should be adopted as the official elk capital of the State of North Carolina; Now, therefore,

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1.  Chapter 145 of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:

§ 145‑52.  State elk capital.

Haywood County is adopted as the official elk capital of the State of North Carolina.

SECTION 2.  This act is effective when it becomes law.