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Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Tops One Million Acres in Public Access Projects

photo by Peter Christian

After 28 years, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation recently topped one million acres in lifetime projects that created, maintained or improved access to public land.

Spokesman Mark Holyoak chronicles the 28 year journey that conservation group has traveled.

“A million acres is a lot, and every acre that’s either opened up or maintained for public access is good for hunters and hikers and anglers, if you pick huckleberries or camp, so we think it’s a pretty cool thing,” Holyoak said. “Our first project was back in 1988 at Robb Creek here in Montana. It was a 16,000 acre project that is now a wildlife management area. Out latest project is in New Mexico where we opened up and improved access to 40,000 acres of public land. Our largest project was actually in Tennessee, and that was 74,000 acres, and our smallest one was a little speck on a map, less than a third of an acre in Wyoming.”

Holyoak turned the attention to Montana.

“We’ve opened or improved access to over 278,000 acres here in Montana alone,” he said. “People let us know that they’d like to have access to their public lands and we’re trying to do our best to find any way to open the door to that, so if you know about little pieces of land that back up to BLM land or Forest Service land, just let us know and we’ll see if we can make it happen.”

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