Looking to provide a public forum on the issue of hoof rot in local elk, Cowlitz County is setting up a question and answer session with a panel of experts, planned at the Cowlitz County Expo Center on the 27th. County Commissioner Jim Misner and Mark Smith with Mount Saint Helens Eco Park are organizing this “open mic” opportunity, giving you a chance to directly question agency representatives and other invited experts. Sporadic reports of deformed elk have come in over the past 20 years, but in the past couple of years, the number of reports has soared, with some estimates saying that as much as half of the local elk population is infected. Washington Fish and Wildlife is now starting to study the problem, recently issuing an initial report on the topic. Misner says that this Q&A session will help local residents become more informed on this issue, along with getting some answers on how it might eventually be solved.