September 26, 2019
Elk Habitat Conserved, Accessible in Wisconsin
MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation successfully worked with Jackson County Forestry and Parks to permanently protect 290 acres of prime elk habitat in Wisconsin’s southern elk range.
“Every piece of elk country counts and this particular parcel is quality, year-round elk habitat. Not only are its wildlife values now forever protected but it is open to public access for hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “We appreciate our Jackson County Forest partners in helping make this happen.”
Located in east-central Jackson County, this new Starlight Project acreage enlarges the Jackson County Forest to nearly 123,000 acres. It will benefit elk relocated a few miles north of there in 2015-16 as part of a multi-year, joint effort between the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources and RMEF.
In addition to supporting elk restoration efforts by protecting elk habitat, the transaction also creates habitat stewardship opportunities to benefit other wildlife including deer, black bears, turkey, grouse and other game and non-game wildlife species.
“This is the second successful project that was completed with the help of the RMEF. Working with RMEF has been a great experience. Their knowledge and expertise has been critical to complete the purchase of 650 acres,” said Jim Zahasky, Jackson County Forestry and Parks administrator. “Timing is important to purchasing private land and RMEF can complete the purchases quickly compared to a government agency. We plan on continuing our partnership with RMEF and look forward to working with them in the future.”
The property is a mere eight miles south of the 360-acre Morrison Creek project, which RMEF permanently protected and conveyed to the Jackson County Forest in 2017.