MISSOULA, Mont. — A small section of choice elk habitat in south-central Colorado now belongs to all Americans after the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation conveyed it to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The tract in the northern end of the San Luis Valley is a mere 28 acres in size but greatly improves public access for hunting and other recreational activities to 8,500 acres of surrounding public land.
“This project is a prime example of the power of partnerships,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “We appreciate the desires of a willing seller, who is also a RMEF member, as well as our partners at the BLM and Bass Pro Shops for getting this done.”
The transaction connects BLM-managed land to the east with U.S. Forest Service land to the west. A county road provides access to it.
“This acquisition will enhance access for recreational opportunities in the Trickle Creek ACEC and other nearby public lands,” said Bureau of Land Management Colorado State Director Jamie Connell. “Partners like the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation are critical in helping BLM provide high-quality hunting and fishing experiences in Colorado.”
RMEF first became aware of the property while visiting BLM officials in Colorado and later purchased it with funding assistance provided by Bass Pro Shops.
“The Middle Creek project is another critically important step to provide greater access for the outdoorsmen and women of today and tomorrow,” said Bob Ziehmer, senior director of Conservation at Bass Pro Shops. “The efforts of RMEF and BLM help ensure we’re conserving and protecting our precious natural resources for generations to come and inspiring even more people to engage with the great outdoors.”
The property features vital habitat for a wide range of species ranging from elk and bighorn sheep to black bear and upland birds. Since Middle Creek crosses the immediate landscape, it also provides riparian habitat for fish, birds and other animal life.
BLM utilized Land and Water Conservation Fund-Priority Recreation Access funding to complete the project.
Go here to view a short video about the project.
About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Founded more than 36 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of nearly 235,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 7.9 million acres for elk and other wildlife. RMEF also works to open and improve public access, fund and advocate for science-based resource management, and ensure the future of America’s hunting heritage. Discover why “Hunting Is Conservation™” at rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.