Ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

RMEF Volunteers Clear the Way for Idaho Elk

Craig Mountain Wildlife Management Area
Elk and other critters living along the Idaho Panhandle will find it a little easier getting around thanks to work put in by 13 volunteers from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. They teamed up with six Idaho Fish and Game (IFG) employees to remove three and a half miles of old abandoned, rusty barbed wire in the high country of the Craig Mountain Wildlife Management Area.

The first phase of the project took place in late June this past summer. Crews removed the old fencing, much of it used by homesteaders to hold livestock, from Wapshilla Ridge to free up key travel corridors for elk and other big game. They also repaired a small section of fencing to help exclude illegal off-road use and trespassing cattle, built a cattle enclosure around a wildlife guzzler, and carried out mapping and inventory of fence line that needs to be removed in the future. An IFG crew completed phase two of the project in August. In all, workers removed two tons of material.

“Removing fencing is one of the most beneficial projects that we can do for wildlife on the mountain,” said Justin Barrett, Craig Mountain Wildlife Habitat Manager.

The Craig Mountain WMA covers 115,000 acres on the western border of the Idaho Panhandle. Located along the Snake River south of Lewiston, it provides habitat for mule deer, elk, bighorn sheep, black bear, mountain lion, wild turkey, upland and song birds, and other animals. It is open to non-motorized travel year-round for hunters, anglers, hikers, horseback riders, mountain bikers, and cross-country skiers. The WMA is jointly managed by the IFG and the Bureau of Land Management.

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