Public land does not always feature large swaths of landscape that is 100 percent open to public access.
Sometimes privately-owned inholdings feature development or the potential for development that can disrupt wildlife migration corridors, wildlife management and limit public access.
In October 2018, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation acquired 1,120 acres of elk habitat high in the mountains of western Montana about 15 miles west of Missoula.
The two parcels were previously private inholdings owned by a lumber company.
RMEF purchased the property and conveyed it to the Lolo National Forest so now it is publicly-owned and opened for anyone and everyone to use and enjoy.
The surrounding area features spring, summer and fall range and supports more than 500 elk. It is also includes crucial habitat for deer, moose, bear and other bird and animal life, plus it includes springs that create important riparian habitat.
In addition to being a wildlife movement corridor between the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem and the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, it includes the Edith Peak Trail that will now be uninterrupted as it crosses the property.
So far, RMEF opened or improved access to more than 1.2 million acres across 23 states.
Opening and improving public access is key to RMEF’s conservation work.
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 R-M-E-F when you sign up for your new onX subscription to receive a 20 percent discount, and a portion of the proceeds benefit RMEF’s conservation mission.