August 7, 2017
Elk Habitat Permanently Protected in Colorado
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.