Elk NetworkCumberland Forest, Virginia – onX Public Access Project

onX Public Access | March 28, 2024

Cumberland Forest – Virginia

It marks a first for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. And it’s good news for elk and hunters in the state of Virginia.

In 2023, RMEF completed its first-ever land conservation and access project by helping The Nature Conservancy or TNC to conserve and open public access to 576 acres of habitat within Virginia’s Elk Management Zone in the western part of the state.

The Cumberland Forest-Breeding project includes the original site in Buchanan County where officials released elk onto their historic Old Dominion range a decade earlier.

The ball kept rolling in 2024 with the Cumberland Forest-Anderson project, when RMEF, TNC, the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources and Southwest Virginia Sportsmen conserved and opened access to 175 more acres.

That continued the momentum of several earlier projects in the same region of the Appalachian Mountains including an 851-acre Tennessee project in 2021, and a 2023 project just across the state line in Kentucky that conserved and opened access to 55,000-acres of prime elk range.

And if you go back to 2002, RMEF, TNC and several other partners helped conserve and open access to 74,000 acres of what is now Tennessee’s North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area.

The bottom line is elk, deer, turkeys and other wildlife in Virginia as well as Tennessee and Kentucky have more conserved room to roam.

It’s also a benefit for hunting, wildlife viewing and other recreational activities.

Creating and improving public access is a long-time focus of RMEF’s mission.

Since 1984, RMEF has opened or improved public access to more than 1.5 million acres.

To view the sites and boundaries of RMEF land conservation and access projects, turn on the RMEF layer and use the code RMEF when you sign up for your onX subscription to receive a 20% discount.