Elk NetworkBLM, RMEF Conserve and Open Public Access to Colorado Wildlife, Riparian Habitat

General | April 8, 2024

Below is a news release from the Bureau of Land Management.

The Bureau of Land Management announced the acquisition of additional lands at Cheney Reservoir near Grand Junction, made possible by the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The 480-acre acquisition substantially enhances public access, protections for wildlife, and conservation of valuable resources for the benefit of present and future generations. The reservoir is renowned for its popularity among hunters and wildlife enthusiasts for its scenic and recreational resources.

The acquisition was facilitated through Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s support and its work with a willing seller. RMEF works with agency and private partners to acquire lands to conserve critical habitat and create or improve public access for compatible use and enjoyment.

“With the reservoir’s footprint now entirely managed by the BLM, we are able to manage the area more effectively, ensuring a superior experience for visitors and better management of the natural setting,” said Upper Colorado River District Manager Greg Larson. “The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is a great partner and assisted the BLM in acquiring these lands for the public to enjoy and cherish here on the Western Slope.”

“We’re thrilled to see many years of hard work pay off with this parcel now being managed by the BLM,” said Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Lands Operation Manager Ryan Chapin. “The Cheney Reservoir is a lifeline in this arid western Colorado landscape and managing this area is crucial to the health of the entire ecosystem.”

The BLM’s acquisition of this property aligns with the America the Beautiful initiative that seeks to conserve fish and wildlife habitat and expand access to public lands and waters through voluntary conservation. The Land and Water Conservation Fund, established by Congress in 1964, is committed to safeguarding natural areas, water resources and cultural heritage, and to provide recreation opportunities for all Americans.

(Photo & map credit: Bureau of Land Management)