Public Access Dispute Solved in Central Oregon

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

From The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The public will continue to have access to 43,000 acres of central Oregon’s prime elk country thanks to a group effort including the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Bureau of Land Management, Crook County, Oregon Hunters Association (OHA) and the Waibel Ranches, LLC.

“We are pleased that all parties could come together to provide continued access to a part of Oregon revered by elk hunters and others,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “Opening or improving access to our public lands lies at the core of our conservation mission. We hear time and time again from our members how important it is that we carry out this public access work.”

At issue was what was thought to be a public road through private land south of Prineville in the Crooked River drainage that provided access to the southern end of Ochoco National Forest. RMEF provided title work and research that showed continuous public use of the road since the late 1800s.

Waibel Ranches, LLC facilitated the construction of the new road at their own expense and at their own initiative. They did so in order to provide access to the same public lands as a means to reduce the liability, trespass, poaching and littering associated with public travel along the old Teaters Road.

“It’s great to have a partner like RMEF to help find solutions to public land access issues,” said Dennis Teitzel, Prineville BLM district manager.

“This project provides access for hunters and all others that could have been lost without the cooperation and efforts of several organizations. The landowners should be thanked for their willingness to work to solve a problem for the benefit for all,” said Richard Nelson, OHA Bend Chapter past president. “It shows what can be accomplished when all work on a solution instead of locking in to an adversary position.”

Since 1986, RMEF and its partners completed 875 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Oregon with a combined value of more than $57.4 million. These projects protected or enhanced 793,317 acres of habitat and opened or secured public access to 90,073 acres.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Founded over 30 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of more than 222,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 7.1 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 www.rmef.org,www.elknetwork.com or 800-CALL ELK.

2018 RMEF Elk Camp Heads to Arizona

 

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is heading to the sunny Southwest to hold its 2018 Elk Camp March 15-18 in Chandler, Arizona.

“There is nothing like the energy and enthusiasm generated by our members and volunteers at Elk Camp,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “We are excited to get together in Arizona to celebrate our conservation mission and milestones.”

As of July 1, 2017, RMEF has conserved or enhanced more than 7.14 million acres of elk habitat and opened or improved access to 1.15 million acres for hunters, anglers, hikers and others to enjoy. RMEF recently eliminated alllong-term debt for the first time in its 33-year history and is also riding eight consecutive years of record membership growth.

The Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass will host 2018 Elk Camp. As in past gatherings, RMEF will celebrate its accomplishments during Volunteer Fun Night as well as two other nightly events including auctions. Elk Camp will also offer various “Taste of Arizona” events including a desert jeep tour, an excursion to historic downtown Scottsdale and Major League Baseball spring training games (schedules/locations yet to be announced by MLB teams). In addition, attendees may play nearby championship golf courses and take part in other on-site activities such as boating, horseback riding or sitting down at Arizona’s only five-star restaurant.

RMEF will announce its world class entertainment performers and other information in the near future.

Full registration is now open and available here.

RMEF held its 2017 national convention in Nashville, Tennessee.

Current Elk Camp 2018 sponsors include ALPS OutdoorZ, Browning, Sitka, US Bank and BMO Wealth Management.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Founded over 30 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of more than 222,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 7.1 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 www.rmef.org,www.elknetwork.com or 800-CALL ELK.

Elk Habitat Protected in Wyoming

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Natural Resources Conservation Service worked with a private landowner to permanently protect 2,132 acres of wildlife habitat in southeast Wyoming.

“This conservation easement maintains large-scale habitat connectivity in a portion of Wyoming that benefits a wide range of wildlife including elk, mule deer, turkey and plains sharp-tailed grouse,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer.

“Through partnerships between the NRCS, private landowners, and lands trusts such as the RMEF, conservation through easements will continue into perpetuity, allowing future generations the opportunity to enjoy open spaces and wildlife,” said Astrid Martinez, state conservationist, NRCS Wyoming.

The landscape features native rangeland, sage brush steppe, several springs and stands of Ponderosa pine, cottonwood and box elder. That habitat translates into vital year-round and winter range for up to 500 elk.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service, Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust, Wyoming Governors Big Game License Coalition, Wyoming Game and Fish and RMEF’s Torstenson Family Endowment (TFE) provided funding for the project.

“We are grateful to landowners like these who understand the importance of their property’s habitat resource values while carefully managing their land and water for wildlife and livestock alike,” added Henning.

This conservation easement shares three linear miles of its southern border with the 2013 RMEF Cottonwood Creek project that permanently protects 3,329 acres of elk habitat and buffers nearby Bureau of Land Management and Wyoming state lands.

RMEF uses TFE funding solely to further its core mission programs of permanent land protection, habitat stewardship, elk restoration and hunting heritage.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Founded over 30 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of more than 222,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 7.1 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 www.rmef.org,www.elknetwork.com or 800-CALL ELK.

Video: Bowhunting Bull Elk in New Mexico


A new video from the The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation follows a bowhunter as he looks for elk in New Mexico.

From The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

“Follow along on our 2017 In Season hunt with first time elk hunter Cooper Davis as he begins to learn about the progression of the rut and finding a mature bull.”

To check out more from The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, click here.

Video: Elk Pursuits in “This IS Hunting”


Outstanding elk hunting footage from The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

From The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

“As the herd moves off from the downed monarch, the circle of life continues without pause. New opportunity arises for the younger satellite bulls to collect their own harems for the first time ever. The celebration of a fresh kill and food for the hunter indicates a strong and healthy herd and is something he gives thanks for… This IS Hunting”

To check out more from The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, click here.

Montana Elk Habitat Conserved, Opened to Public Access

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

MISSOULA, Mont.—A key wildlife landscape previously threatened by subdivision in northwest Montana is now permanently protected and in the public’s hands thanks to a collaborative effort between the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, a conservation-minded family and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

“This property lies within the popular Holland Lake recreational area of the scenic Swan Valley and there was some pressure to develop it,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “We appreciate the landowners for recognizing the wildlife values of the land and reaching out to us to help conserve it.”

The 640-acre parcel offers important summer and winter habitat for elk and whitetail deer. It is also provides key habitat for grizzly bears, Canada lynx and a vast array of other wildlife. Additionally, it contains riparian habitat via springs and a chain of wetland ponds that feed a tributary of Holland Creek.

Located about 65 miles north of Missoula, the property lies west of the Swan Mountain Range and is nestled between the Bob Marshall Wilderness to the east and Mission Mountain Wilderness to the west. It was previously an inholding within the Flathead National Forest but thanks to its conveyance, it now falls under the ownership umbrella of the USFS and belongs to all citizens.

”This acquisition will improve public land access, and help to preserve the recreation setting and valuable wildlife habitat in the popular Holland Lake area,” said Rich Kehr, Swan Lake district ranger.

The Holland Lake project is one of the first to receive 2017 funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Since 1985, RMEF and its partners completed 967 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Montana with a combined value of more than $160.2 million. These projects protected or enhanced 818,826 acres of habitat and opened or secured public access to 289,532 acres.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Founded over 30 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of more than 222,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 7.1 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™” atwww.rmef.orgwww.elknetwork.com or 800-CALL ELK.
Take action: join and/or donate.

Elk Habitat Permanently Protected in Colorado


From The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation partnered with a conservation-minded landowner, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) to permanently protect 524 acres of prime wildlife habitat in west-central Colorado.

“We appreciate the private landowners for recognizing the important wildlife values of their land and taking action to permanently protect it,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer.

Located about 35 miles east of Grand Junction, the Bull Creek project provides summer, winter and transitional range as well as a migration corridor through adjacent Bureau of Land Management land for elk and mule deer. It’s also an important calving ground for elk and lies within Colorado’s Grand Mesa, the largest flat top mountain in the world.

“Projects such as Bull Creek and partnerships with Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation highlight the very core of our conservation values and beliefs,” said J.T. Romatzke, CPW area wildlife manager. “The ability to ensure the perpetuation of elk habitat and benefits to sportsman is nothing more than exceptional. It is an honor for CPW to collaborate with RMEF and many others on projects that truly have longevity and resource purpose.”

In addition to providing quality habitat for big game, birds and other animal life, the property also includes vital riparian habitat. It encompasses more than three miles of waterways including the South Canal and a portion of Bull Creek.

Nearly half of the project’s funding came from a Great Outdoors Colorado grant. The organization invests a portion of Colorado Lottery proceeds in projects that protect or enhance Colorado’s parks, trails, rivers, open space and wildlife heritage.

“It’s critical for Colorado’s future that we have families like this one with the vision to permanently protect their land. GOCO is proud to have invested critical funding to help bring that vision to fruition and protect critical wildlife and river habitat,” said Chris Castilian, GOCO executive director.

Since 1987, RMEF and its partners completed 704 conservation and hunting heritage projects in Colorado, including two in Mesa County, with a combined value of more than $161 million dollars. These projects conserved or enhanced 438,443 acres and opened or secured access to 108,179 acres.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Founded over 30 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of more than 222,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 7.1 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™” atwww.rmef.orgwww.elknetwork.com or 800-CALL ELK.
Take action: join and/or donate.