Elk NetworkPublic Access Increased in Northern Idaho

General , News Releases | August 24, 2020

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho – The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Coeur d’Alene Field Office announced today the expansion of public access in the Rochat Divide/Pine Creek Special Recreation Management. Using Sportsman’s Access funds from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the acquisition of the 633-acre inholding, known as the Reeds Ridge parcel, will secure public access to the parcel as well as open up approximately 3,600 acres of adjacent BLM-managed lands that previously lacked formal access.

“Expanding access to public lands and outdoor recreational opportunities is a priority for the Trump Administration,” said BLM Deputy Director for Programs and Policy William Perry Pendley. “This acquisition is part and parcel of that commitment and preserves a vital part of the West’s heritage for future generations.”

Acquisition of the Reeds Ridge parcel expands public access for recreation and hunting opportunities and conserves big game and habitat. The BLM’s acquisition of the parcel will also ensure public access in perpetuity.

The acquisition is a result of a collaboration between the BLM, the Hancock Natural Resource Group (HNRG), and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF). The Benewah County Commissioners also provided strong support for the project. The Reeds Ridge parcel lies 30 miles southeast of Coeur d’Alene. The surrounding BLM lands are popular destinations for recreation, including hunting, OHV riding, and hiking.

Since 1990, Hancock Natural Resource Group has worked with local communities to conserve over 470,000 acres of sensitive lands across North America. This includes 128,000 acres in the Pacific Northwest that through sale or conservation easement directly protect special places such as wildlife habitat, scenic corridors, and threatened plant communities. Much of this work is accomplished by partnerships with conservation stewardship organizations like Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

“Things get done when you have good partners who share the same conservation vision, and that’s exactly what we have here,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “We appreciate HNRG and the BLM for working with us to conserve this important elk habitat and place it in the public’s hands.”

“The Coeur d’Alene District appreciates the support of the RMEF as well as the Benewah County Commissioners in securing this key parcel for public access and important wildlife habitat,” said Kurt Pindel, District Manager.  “Completion of this acquisition will ensure the public not only has access to a range of recreational opportunities on the Reeds Ridge parcel but to all of the adjacent BLM lands as well.”

About the Bureau of Land Management:

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In fiscal year 2018, the diverse activities authorized on BLM-managed lands generated $105 billion in economic output across the country. This economic activity supported 471,000 jobs and contributed substantial revenue to the U.S. Treasury and state governments, mostly through royalties on minerals.

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 8 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.