November 14, 2016
RMEF Tops One Million Acres in Public Access Projects
RMEF has opened or secured access to 84 acres per day since its founding in 1984
MISSOULA, Mont.—From its first project in Montana 28 years ago to its most recent this fall in New Mexico, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation just surpassed one million acres in lifetime projects that created, maintained or improved access to public land.
“This is a tremendous milestone that strikes at the heart of our conservation mission,” said David Allen, RMEF
RMEF worked alongside scores of conservation partners over the years including the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), state wildlife agencies and other organizations to complete 249 access projects in 23 different states with wild, free-ranging elk populations.
First project: Robb Creek, Montana (16,440 acres)
RMEF purchased private land and conveyed it to Montana Fish,
Latest project: Alamocita Creek, New Mexico (40,000+ acres)
RMEF purchased 5,867 acres of private land which it conveyed to the BLM. The project also improves access to 35,000 of surrounding public land.
Largest project: Cumberland Forest, Tennessee (74,000 acres)
RMEF granted funding to assist the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency purchase a private forest previously owned by a paper company.
Smallest project: Evandale Township, Montana (.287 acres)
Part of the Royal Teton Ranch project, RMEF purchased and conveyed five small lots to the USFS which lie within the Yellowstone wildlife migration and winter range corridor.
“One million acres of public access is indeed a significant accomplishment but we have much more work to do,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “RMEF has an annual goal of creating or improving public access to 50,000 acres per year. Through our Access Elk Country Initiative, we have our sights set on an additional 150,000 acres of access by 2019.”
RMEF has opened or secured access to 84 acres per day, every day since its founding in 1984. That plays out to 4.6 acres for each of its 219,750 members.
One million acres equates to 1,563 square miles which