Sometimes things don’t go as planned.
And in western North Carolina’s elk country of Maggie Valley, that’s not a bad thing.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is teaming up with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Council to transform what was originally planned to be a 1960’s ski resort into better wildlife habitat.
RMEF provided grant funding for what’s called the Sheepback Mountain Elk Habitat Improvement Project.
The first phase improved access and carried out habitat work in the form of reducing thick growth and opening up old roads from the bottom of the mountain to the top portion of the property, now known as the William H. Silver Game Land.
The second phase focuses on clearing former 50-foot wide ski slopes across five acres.
Those slopes will later be seeded and maintained as linear forage openings and restore early successional wildlife habitat.
Different areas of the slopes will be planted with different wildlife seed mixes and others will be managed to benefit 75 elk as well as deer, turkey, grouse and a variety of songbirds and other animal life.
More than 95 percent of RMEF’s 227,000 members are hunters.
Funded and supported by hunters, projects like this one highlight how Hunting Is Conservation.