Elk NetworkCold Springs Creek – onX Public Access Project

onX Public Access | June 30, 2023

A puzzle with a missing piece cannot fulfill its best use. The same goes for wild landscapes.

Take the 1.2 million acre Black Hills National Forest in western South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming. Known for its forested mountains and granite peaks, the Black Hills are also home to more than 6,000 elk as well as mule deer, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep and  other wildlife.

In 2023, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation collaborated with two landowners to acquire a missing puzzle piece in the form of a 239 acre private inholding near Hill City, about 60 miles south of Spearfish, and convey it to the Black Hills National Forest.

Doing so alleviated any threat of development which would affect wildlife and public access, including hunting, and other recreational activities both there and in the surrounding forestland.

The property features important habitat like aspen, mixed confers, meadows and grasslands, and since the headwaters of Cold Springs Creek originate on the land, it also supplies quality riparian habitat for fish, waterfowl, songbirds, small mammals, reptiles and amphibians.

RMEF previously completed dozens of conservation and habitat enhancement projects in the immediate region both in South Dakota and across the state lines in Wyoming and Nebraska.

To view the sites and boundaries of RMEF land conservation and access projects near you or where you hunt, turn on the onX Hunt app’s RMEF layer.

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