New Mexico – After multiple years of negotiations, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) secured nearly 1,200 acres of vital elk wintering range outside of Taos. The Foundation worked tirelessly alongside the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) to make the wilderness corridor possible. In addition to the foundation’s efforts, recognition toward guaranteeing the land remains protected goes to Ortega, Santisevan, and Throne families.

“This is a crucial swath of land and a key migration corridor for approximately 10,000 elk that move back and forth between New Mexico and Colorado.” – Kyle Weaver, RMEF President and CEO.

In total, the combined area is 1,188 acres that covered 4 separate parcels within the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in the San Luis Valley, known as Mi Tierra Encantada (My Enchanted Lands). The Land became a national monument under the Obama administration in 2013. Furthermore, the area covers more than approximately 242,555 acres and is located on Taos’ western side.

Elk Migration History

Due to the improper tracking of the elk migration and unsustainable conservation, the monument has suffered over the years. Environmental concerns that range from lack of rainfall to winter gazing has stressed wildlife into unwanted areas. However, Wildnerness status guarantees state resources are allocated to manage the elk herds throughout the winter. Consequently, the RMEF is also putting efforts toward The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish’s 2020 State Action Plan. Key highlights include the Taos Plateau as one of four critical areas for key big game migrations. In addition to elk, it is also home to mule deer, pronghorn antelope, black bear, mountain lion, and a myriad of smaller mammal and bird species.

“The acquisition of these parcels will enhance the BLM’s ability to protect fragile cultural, biological and scenic resources within the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument,” said Steve Wells, acting BLM New Mexico state director.”

RMEF, dedicated service to this agenda, now has state agencies leading the public conversation. Thus, pressuring BLM to increase public access. As a result, increased traditional public access will soon be granted. Actives include fuelwood gathering, hunting, grazing, camping, and ORV’s (outdoor Recreational vehicle). RMEF conveyed the lands to the BLM that now manages it.

BLM utilized funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to complete the project.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

Founded more than 36 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of nearly 235,000 strong. RMEF Mission has conserved more than 8 million acres for elk and other wildlife. RMEF also works to open and improve public access, fund, and advocate for science-based resource management. Conservation focus ensures the future of America’s hunting heritage. Discover why “Hunting Is Conservation™” at or 800-CALL ELK.

So, what are your thoughts on this migration corridor being protected? Has your state done similar projects? Let us know in the comments!



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