Elk NetworkCumberland Forest – onX Public Access Project

Conservation | July 30, 2020

The Cumberland Mountains of northeast Tennessee offer jaw-dropping vistas, mature hardwood forests and prime habitat for elk and other wildlife.

In fact, 2020 marks the 20th anniversary of the reintroduction of elk to their native Tennessee range.

In 2000, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation volunteers braved 2,100 miles of icy roads to haul 50 elk from Alberta, Canada, to the Cumberland Mountains.

Two years later, RMEF teamed up with the Nature Conservancy and the Conservation Fund to purchase a 74,000-acre block of land and place it into public ownership opening the door to access for all.

Several transactions and several years later, what is now known as the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area covers more than 189,000 acres and is popular for everyone from hunters and bird watchers to hikers and others who enjoy the outdoors.

There is even an elk viewing tower and meadow at Hatfield Knob – a labor of love by a husband and wife, both RMEF volunteers, who live on a nearby farm.

And the Tennessee elk herd now numbers more than 400 strong, which allowed the state to offer an annual elk hunt beginning in 2009.

Since 1984, RMEF and its partners opened or improved public access to more than 1.3 million acres of land.

To learn more about the sites and boundaries of RMEF access projects near you or your favorite hunting area, turn on the RMEF layer in the onX Hunt App.

Plus, use the code RMEF when you sign up for your new onX subscription to receive a 20 percent discount, and a portion of the proceeds benefit RMEF’s mission.