MISSOULA, Mont. — The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation successfully collaborated with a landowner to conserve 12,122 acres of elk and mule deer habitat, a vital migratory route, in northeast Nevada. The voluntary conservation agreement is adjacent to more than 15,000 acres of public land for hunting, fishing and other recreational activities.
“This is an all-around win for elk and other wildlife, hunters and for the landowner group,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “We express our gratitude to EFM Investments & Advisory for working with us to conserve this valuable landscape.”
The Pole Canyon property is about 40 miles east of Elko. It serves as critical transition and summer range for elk as well as a calving area. It is also home to bighorn sheep and provides summer, winter and transition range for the largest herd of migrating mule deer in the state.
“The terrain and its accompanying habitat are unique to Nevada and that’s why this agreement is so important,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “The property contains sagebrush, aspen and mahogany stands, scattered whitebark and limber pine stands, meadows and pastureland. And because several streams cross it, there’s also rare and valuable riparian habitat.”
RMEF appreciates funding partners, which include the Nevada Department of Wildlife, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s Outdoor Fund and Nevada Bighorns Unlimited – Reno/Fallon/Midas and Elko Bighorns Unlimited.
“This is a significant step for us in achieving our goals for the property,” said Bettina von Hagen, CEO of EFM. “With this funding, we will be able to fully implement our management plan for the Pole Canyon, which includes protection and restoration of riparian, aspen and sage grouse habitat. We are very grateful to RMEF and all the funding partners.”
“Partnerships are the key to achieving meaningful conservation results,” said Chris West, NFWF Rocky Mountain regional director. “The Pole Canyon project is a great example of a partnership between private landowners, state wildlife management agencies and conservation groups. NFWF is proud to be a part of this effort and would like to thank our funding partner Microsoft for their contribution to conserving this vital habitat.”
About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Founded more than 38 years ago and fueled by hunters, RMEF maintains more than 225,000 members and has conserved more than 8.5 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.
Photo credit: Susan Summer Elliott