Simply put, it was an idea that took six years to fully develop and accomplish.
The challenge was how to provide dependable water sources for wildlife and cattle alike in the often bone-dry Black Hills National Forest that straddles the border of southwest South Dakota and northeast Wyoming.
It took a widespread collaborate effort to make it happen.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation teamed up with the U.S. Forest Service, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks, Wyoming Game and Fish Department and other sportsmen’s and conservation groups to provide funding for the Elk Mountain Cooperative Project.
It consists of 21 stock tanks, nine storage tanks, four wildlife guzzlers, 13 miles of pipeline and three water source locations that supply clean water across 23,500 acres of land.
The pipeline and associated water tanks are maintained throughout grazing season, usually around mid-October, and left full for wildlife use.
The guzzlers collect rain and snow year-round as a dependable water source for elk, deer and a wide range of other wildlife and bird species.Restoring elk country is core to RMEF’s Managed Lands Initiative.
Since 1984, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and its partners completed nearly 12,000 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects that protected or enhanced more than 7.5 million acres of wildlife habitat.