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

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

RMEF, Partners Improve Access to Wyoming Hunting Grounds

La Barge Creek, Wyoming
Sometimes just getting there is the toughest task. That’s an especially difficult challenge when your favorite public hunting grounds are located behind privately owned land and your main port of entry is washed out by flooding and beaver activity. 

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation teamed up with a local contractor (Ross Howard) and staff from the Bureau of Land Management’s High Desert District and Pinedale Field Office to fortify an unimproved road through a 160-acre property in southwestern Wyoming, and did so just in time for hunting season. The repaired entry point is located west of La Barge along County Road 315 (La Barge Creek Road). It is surrounded by public lands and provides important access to the BLM Miller Mountain Management Area and the BLM Lake Mountain Wilderness Study Area, as well as nearby state land and the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

Joe Cantrell (BLM) and Ross Howard (contractor)
“This project truly was a concerted team effort—where the necessary talent, hard work, and practical know-how came from dedicated individuals working together to keep our public lands accessible,” said Linda Cardenas, BLM/RMEF national liaison. “The La Barge Creek access improvement project exemplifies the enormous benefits to the public that can be achieved when agencies work in partnership with conservation organizations like the RMEF.” 

The La Barge Creek Drainage corridor serves as crucial winter range for elk and moose and is an important migration route for mule deer. It is also vital spawning and rearing habitat for the Colorado River cutthroat trout as well as riparian habitat for the Boreal toad, which are identified as BLM Sensitive Species. 

RMEF acquired the parcel via a private donation in 2011. As per the donor’s wishes, the donation and future sale of the property to a public landowner will provide a means for RMEF to further its mission of protecting key habitat and providing public access to important landscapes for everyone to hunt, fish, hike or otherwise enjoy.

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