MISSOULA, Mont. —Montana’s largest wildlife management area gained an additional 244 acres after the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation worked with private landowners to purchase and convey their property to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP).
“This is a prime example of a family that understands both the wildlife and public access values of their property,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “We thank James and Connie Haddox for asking us to help conserve it.”
The property is approximately 10 miles south of Anaconda at the base of the Anaconda-Pintlar Mountains and is now part of the 56,000-acre Mount Haggin Wildlife Management Area (WMA), which is open to public access.
“This acreage is an integral part of a key wildlife migration pathway. It also provides calving grounds in the spring, summer range and security in the fall for elk,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “Additionally, the transaction improves access to the east side of Grassy Mountain, a popular hunting area.”
It features wetlands, riparian and stream habitat, meadows and forestland including aspen and willow stands that provides habitat for moose, black bear and other animals. FWP also plans to restore native westslope cutthroat trout and Arctic grayling to the French Creek Basin, including Oregon Creek which traverses the property.
“It’s been a great pleasure to partner with these conservation-minded landowners and RMEF to secure yet another piece of ground for wildlife and fisheries habitat and public recreation,” said Vanna Boccadori, FWP wildlife biologist. “FWP is very grateful to them and to all the parties that supported this project.”
This transaction follows on the heels of a 2019 RMEF project that added 160 acres to the Mount Haggin WMA. RMEF assisted FWP with habitat and land protection work in the WMA dating back to 1999.
About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Founded more than 36 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of nearly 235,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 7.9 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 rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.