MISSOULA, Mont. — A 2,415-acre ranch in northcentral California featuring prime wildlife habitat is now permanently protected thanks to a collaborative conservation effort by the California Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB), California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and a willing landowner.
“This landscape is extremely important to ensure the future for the world’s only tule elk population,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “We deeply appreciate the landowners for placing a conservation easement on their property and protecting its wildlife values in perpetuity.”
The Turkey Track project is approximately 50 miles northwest of Sacramento. In addition to tule elk, it also offers important habitat for blacktail deer, mountain lions, California quail and other species. The property also contains several ponds and approximately 11 miles of perennial and intermittent streams in a greater landscape with limited water resources. Additionally, it is part of a recently concluded elk monitoring study.
The Cache Creek watershed is a focus area for RMEF, WCB and CDFW, which wants to grow tule elk numbers. RMEF helped complete more than two dozen land protection or habitat enhancement projects in the immediate area including a 2019 project that protected 2,607 acres of tule elk habitat not even a mile to the north.
“The Wildlife Conservation Board is proud to be a partner with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation on the 2,415-acre conservation easement to preserve and protect critical winter range for tule elk that will also benefit many other sensitive species,” said John Donnelly, WCB executive director. “Protection of this working landscape is something that WCB is honored to be a part of.”
“It takes dedicated partners to carry out meaningful conservation work. We appreciate their work and support in getting this done,” added Weaver.
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 8 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.