Restoring Elk Country – Removing Structures

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How strong is the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s conservation commitment to restoring elk country? So strong that it can move houses—literally.

Here are two examples.

In the summer of 2019, 11 RMEF volunteers gathered in southeast Washington on the site of a project that permanently protected 58 acres of elk habitat but also improved access to 2,600 acres of adjacent public land for hunters and others to use.

The crew racked up 620 hours of hands-on labor to remove an A-frame cabin completely off the landscape.

Volunteers did so shingle by shingle, board by board and nail by nail, including flooring and structural beams.

In the end, they even used magnets to remove any remaining nails and screws.

Contrast that effort with this one…

About 300 miles west and a bit south of there, you’ll find Montana’s scenic Madison Valley.

In late 2014, RMEF acquired 631 acres of grassy elk winter range along the Madison River that is now part of the Madison-Wall Creek Wildlife Management Area.

But at the time, the land included a 3,096-square foot log house and other outbuildings.

RMEF launched a sealed bidding process with a stipulation that the winner move the house off the property.

And that is exactly what happened—right over the Madison River and right off the property.

Restoring elk country is core to RMEF’s Managed Lands Initiative.

Since 1984, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and its partners completed more than 12,000 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects that protected or enhanced more than 7.5