MISSOULA, Mont.—A family in southeast Wyoming teamed up with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to permanently protect 133 acres of important elk habitat.
“Fred and Stephanie Lindzey have always cherished the wildlife values of their land during their more than three decades of ownership,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “We appreciate their desire to both recognize and allow us to conserve it for years to come.”
The property is about 20 miles west of Laramie and just east of the Snowy Range Mountains on the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest. It features high quality wildlife and riparian habitat along the Little Laramie River and is part of the Snowy Range Scenic Byway. It also provides critical linkage between several nearby completed and developing conservation projects which are all located within the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Sheep Mountain Mule Deer Initiative Area.
“Knowing that this place won’t be developed makes us all feel good,” said Fred Lindzey. “It became obvious our goals and those of the Elk Foundation were very similar and that is to make sure things don’t change in a negative way from where they are right now. That’s just exactly what we wanted.”
“Having known the Lindzeys for many years, I know this is as important to them as it is to the people and wild creatures in that part of Wyoming,” said Bob Budd, Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust executive director. “This project is yet another example of capturing the absolutely critical pieces of habitat for multiple species of wildlife, and especially some of those we don’t think about every day. Congratulations to the Lindzeys and RMEF for providing this habitat for many generations to come.”
The Home Ranch Conservation Easement, as it is called, protects winter and year-round range for elk as well as moose, mule deer and antelope. Additionally, the property serves as historic range for a wide array of nongame fish, bird and animal species, including golden eagles. The landowners cooperate with wildlife agencies and nonprofit organizations on habitat research and also host a bird banding site for the Audubon Society on the property.
“This conservation easement is a great example of saving necessary habitat for a wide variety of wildlife species including fish, birds and both game and non-game animals,” said Tony Woodell, Wyoming Wildlife Foundation director. “Special thanks to RMEF for coordinating the effort. Creating a stable area for sustaining wildlife not only benefits this easement, it benefits all the areas around it.”
Funding partners for the project included the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Wyoming Wildlife Foundation. The Lindzey family also made a generous donation.
RMEF works with willing landowners to establish conservation easements to protect crucial elk winter and summer ranges, migration corridors, calving grounds and other areas vital to elk and other wildlife.
Since 1986, RMEF and its partners protected or enhanced 1,131,711 acres of habitat in Wyoming and more than 7.5 million acres nationally.
About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Founded over 30 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of nearly 235,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 7.5 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 www.rmef.org, elknetwork.com or 800-CALL ELK.
Photo credit: Land Steward Services LLC