MISSOULA, Mont. — More than 2,100 acres of vital wildlife habitat in northern Nevada is now permanently protected after the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation worked closely with several partners and a family that values conservation.
“We appreciate the landowners for recognizing the important role their land plays in providing habitat for elk and other wildlife species,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “This conservation easement protects the wildlife values of the property while allowing the family to continue its agricultural operations.”
The 2,151-acre tract of private rangeland, previously cited as the state of Nevada’s number-one priority for migration protection, lies along the base of the Ruby Mountains and offers connectivity between the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest to the south and land managed by the Bureau of Land Management to the north.
“The wildlife values in this area are amongst the highest in the state of Nevada. The foresight and recognition by the partners to ensure these lands are conserved in perpetuity, will have lasting benefits to wildlife,” said Caleb McAdoo, Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) habitat supervisor. “We are humbled by the landowners’ conservation ethic and their desire to conserve this land in perpetuity. NDOW is honored to be a partner on this project.”
Not only does the project protect habitat for elk, pronghorn antelope, sage grouse and other species, but it is a key migratory corridor for the largest population of mule deer in Nevada.
Additionally, parts of Gennettee Creek, Cottonwood and Little Cottonwood Creeks, and Smith Creek, cross the property before eventually combining to become the South Fork of the Humboldt River. Those waters are critical for the Lahontan cutthroat trout, the state fish of Nevada which is also a federally-threatened species.
“The Gennette Creek Conservation Easement project shows how public-private partnerships can advance both wildlife conservation and agricultural objectives,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. “With the support of ConocoPhillips, the funding provided through this NFWF grant will enable the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the state of Nevada to protect a critical migration corridor for not only mule deer, but also elk and pronghorn.”
“It has been an exceptional opportunity to partner with RMEF and NDOW on the Gennette Creek conservation easement. Both organizations exemplify the spirit and professionalism it takes to make conservation successful,” said Rob Rule, Naval Air Station Fallon. “The Navy looks forward to collaborating not only on the sustainment and improvement of Gennette Creek but also other valuable properties in Nevada.”
In addition to the landowners, additional project partners include the Nevada Department of Wildlife, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the U.S. Navy’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration program, which seeks to protect and maintain open space to benefit military training, testing and operations.
About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Founded more than 36 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of nearly 235,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 7.9 million acres for elk and other wildlife. RMEF also works to open and improve public access, fund and advocate for science-based resource management, and ensure the future of America’s hunting heritage. Discover why “Hunting Is Conservation™” at rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.