MISSOULA, Mont.-The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation partnered with the Nature Conservancy and other organizations to conserve more than 3,500 acres of crucial elk and wildlife habitat in west-central Wyoming.
Conservation easements are now in place on both the 2,354-acre Double A Ranch and the 1,225-acre 3 Bar X Ranch which protect the face of the Lander Front from development.
"These latest two projects show our continued commitment to conservation in Wyoming," said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. "If everything goes as projected, our planned 2012 projects across the state will allow us to pass more than one million acres of conservation impact on Wyoming alone."
"The Nature Conservancy deeply appreciates the funding and staff resources the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation provided for these projects. We could not have achieved this great conservation outcome without their help," said Andrea Erickson Quiroz, state director for the Conservancy's Wyoming chapter.
The projects connect other conserved properties, the 97,000-acre Shoshone National Forest, 10,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management land, the 427,000-acre Wind River Indian Reservation, and 5,500 private acres under conservation easement. From the base of the Lander Foothills to the highest elevations of the Wind River Mountains, this now-conserved land provides crucial and rapidly disappearing big game migration corridors and winter game range at lower elevations.
"Not only does this action benefit the crucial winter range for 150 to 300 elk from the South Wind River herd, but the same area along the Lander Front also supports mule deer, moose, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, sage grouse, and contains vital riparian habitat," added Allen.
RMEF's mission is to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat. Since 1985, the organization and its partners completed 499 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Wyoming with a combined value of more than $100 million.
Funding for RMEF grants is based on local membership drives and banquet fundraising by RMEF chapters and volunteers in Wyoming. Allen thanked RMEF supporters for their dedication to conservation both in Wyoming and all across elk country.
About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
RMEF is leading a conservation initiative that has protected or enhanced habitat on more than 6 million acres-an area larger than Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Yosemite, Rocky Mountain and Great Smoky Mountains national parks combined. RMEF also is a strong voice for hunters in access, wildlife management and conservation policy issues. RMEF members, partners and volunteers, working together as Team Elk, are making a difference all across elk country. Join us at www.rmef.org
or 800-CALL ELK.