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

Monday, November 11, 2013

Access Granted!

“Access Provided by RMEF.” That is what the sign reads in north-central California’s elk country. A committee member from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s Mendo-Lake Chapter came across it while out in the wild. The sign stands in stark contrast to many other signs – "No Trespassing," "Do Not Enter," etc. – found across the country.

In a day and age when both elk habitat and access to land is decreasing, RMEF is stepping up efforts to open and secure public access. In fact, public access is at the heart of RMEF’s mission. Since 1984, RMEF opened and/or secured public access to more than 667,000 acres of land across the country. 

Courtesy Kevin Root
Take this specific piece of California, for example. RMEF’s acquisition of the Indian Creek property, thanks to a generous donation by the late Ted Martin, linked together two existing parcels of public land owned by the Bureau of Land Management and provided access to an area that was not previously available to the public. It’s also critical habitat used by more than 100 Tule elk year-round, a vital calving grounds, and is also one of the best and most popular places to view elk in all of California. RMEF acquired the 231-acre tract from a private landowner with a goal to transfer it into public ownership. The BLM is already managing the property and will assume ownership in a couple of years.

So here’s to public access! And securing more of it!

Indian Creek, California

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