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

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Celebrating a Conservation Victory in Oregon Elk Country

The sun shone down brightly, perhaps in a sense of approval, on a small gathering in northeast Oregon. The day was July 10, 2014. The occasion was a Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Habitat Partner Tour in celebration of the organization’s premiere project of 2013. RMEF took part in a team effort to permanently protect and open access to 13,082 acres in the Headwaters of the John Day River. The transaction also secured access to tens of thousands of acres of nearby public land.

Some 50 to 60 people representing the RMEF, U.S. Forest Service, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Walmart (funder), volunteers and local supporters came together as project partners to recognize the major conservation accomplishment. They looked back on all the hard work it took to bring the project to a successful conclusion. They looked ahead to a future of unencumbered public access for hunters, hikers, anglers and others. All the while, they paused in the present to look around and soak in the majesty and beauty of some of Oregon’s finest elk country. 

But this is no narrow victory. Elk are certainly not the only winners here. The Headwaters are vitally important because tributaries provide life-giving cold water inputs to the John Day River for salmon, steelhead, bull trout, redband and cutthroat trout. Four federally listed birds and four federally listed mammal species also live on the land as do mule deer, black bears, pronghorn, mountain goats, grouse, quail and a host of other wildlife.

This is a win-win. And on this day, protecting and securing access to thousands and thousands of acres of crucial wildlife habitat is most definitely a victory worth celebrating!

RMEF staffers Bob Springer, Blake Henning, Grant Parker, Jennifer Doherty and Bill Richardson
(left to right)

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for working to conserve elk habitat, which also happens to be my favorite habitat. Great job, you guys!