MISSOULA, Mont. — The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Beaverhead Deerlodge National Forest (BDNF) worked with the Roland Durocher family to permanently protect 598 acres of prime wildlife habitat in southwest Montana.
“We salute the Durocher family for reaching out to us to help conserve this landscape as well as our partners at the Forest Service,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “Not only is it important elk summer and winter range but moose, mule deer, black bear and many other species rely on it as well.”
Previously known as the Hadley Park property and an inholding within the BDNF approximately 17 miles north of Whitehall is now part of the forest itself. The transaction places the land into public ownership and improves access to adjacent public land in a popular area previously identified as a priority to improve access for hunting, fishing and other recreational activities.
“These 598 acres connect public lands on the north end of the Bull Mountains. The public will now have access to an additional 1,700 acres to enjoy,” said Cheri Ford, Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest supervisor.
The property contains a mixture of mature forests including aspen groves and high elevation meadows. It also features many springs comprising the headwaters of Clarke Gulch Creek, an intermittent tributary to the Boulder River.
RMEF purchased the property and simultaneously conveyed it to the U.S. Forest Service, which used Land and Water Conservation Fund’s Priority Sportsmen Recreation Access funds to facilitate the entire purchase.
The project received strong support from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
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.