MISSOULA, Mont. — A 93-acre land transaction brokered by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation opens the door to approximately 6,000 acres of previously difficult-to-reach public land just in time for Montana’s big game hunting season.
“Access to our public lands is a key component to RMEF’s mission and is important to sportsmen and women as well as all Americans who seek to enjoy the outdoors,” said Blake Henning, RMEF vice president of Lands and Conservation. “This particular project permanently secures access to huge tracts of public land that are home to elk, mule deer, antelope, sage grouse, bighorn sheep and other wildlife.”
Located near the Missouri River watershed’s Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument and the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge in north-central Montana, the property is primarily grassland habitat accompanied by rugged features associated with the Missouri Breaks region.
RMEF plans to transfer the property to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in 2016. Until that happens, BLM will assist in managing this property and provide immediate public access to it as well as adjacent public lands.
“The RMEF has secured access to thousands of acres of BLM land for public use and enjoyment with this acquisition. It also secures an important access for natural resource management,” said Stanley Jaynes, BLM Havre field manager.
Hunters, hikers and others previously parked on a county road (Cow Island Trail Road) and had to walk more than two miles to reach lands administered by the BLM and the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. Now, they will have access to the 6,000 acres of public land by foot, and even greater acreage by horseback.
A RMEF member and hunter who lives nearby notified the RMEF about the property after reading in Bugle magazine about a similar 2013 project that opened the door to access 18,000 acres of public land.
Project partners include the BLM, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and the Cinnabar Foundation.
For a map of the project, go here.
Courtesy of RMEF