MISSOULA, Mont. — Hunters, anglers and others will soon have access to more than 32,900 acres of previously difficult to reach public land in the Sublette Mountain Range of western Wyoming. Working in partnership with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) and others, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation assisted with the purchase of an important access agreement.
“Creating and improving public access is key to who we are as an organization and our mission,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “There is currently limited access to the west side of the Sublette Range. This action will change that.”
The agreement, targeted to take effect in the summer of 2021, will create a permanent public roadway and a parking area linked to the Groo Canyon trail from Highway 30 north of Cokeville near the Wyoming-Idaho border. Once finalized, the new entry point will allow access across private ranchland to lands overseen by the Bureau of Land Management known as the Raymond Mountain Wilderness Study Area and additional state and federal lands beyond that.
Historically, elk management has been particularly difficult in the Sublette Range because of limited public access. The new agreement will allow improved hunter access and opportunity, thus allowing WGFD to better attain population management objectives for elk, deer, moose, mountain lions and black bears.
In addition to WGFD, other project and funding partners include the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund, onX and RMEF’s Torstenson Family Endowment.
What they say about the Raymond Mountain project:
“As the Wyoming Game and Fish Department evaluates and pursues access projects, we look for opportunities that will have a substantial positive impact for our constituents and we feel the Raymond Mountain Public Access Area will provide that,” said Sean Bibbey, WGFD lands branch chief. “The department looks forward to developing this area for use by the public in the coming year and we want to thank RMEF and the other partners on this project for their hard work and support to make this opportunity happen.”
“This collaborative public access project in the Sublette Range is a true win-win for conservation and all who love the outdoors,” said Bob Ziehmer, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s senior director of conservation. “When completed, the new entry point will be a game-changer in improving recreational opportunities and wildlife management in the region. We thank our generous customers for rounding up to the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund, providing funding for this key project.”
“We applaud the Wyoming Game and Fish Department for working to secure improved access to public lands,” said Lisa Nichols, onX access advocacy manager. “We also want to recognize the ranching family who prioritized the recreation potential on land that is dear to their heart. Increasing hunting and public access opportunities for everyone is core to onX’s mission, and we’re honored to be part of projects like these.”
About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Founded more than 36 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of more than 231,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 8.1 million acres for elk and other wildlife. RMEF also works to open and improve public access, fund and advocate for science-based resource management, and ensure the future of America’s hunting heritage. Discover why “Hunting Is Conservation™” at rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.