Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Holland Ranch Aquisition

In May of 2016, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF), in cooperation with Beaverhead-
Deerlodge National Forest (BDNF) finalized the two-phased purchase of the 320-acre Holland Ranch
in southwest Montana. (Completion of the first phase took place in September 2014.) Located west
of Dillon in the Selway Creek drainage, the acquisition of this inholding improves public access to
adjacent lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service, completing a continuous 12-mile landscape in
the BDNF as well as protecting its open space and scenic values.

This project protects vital elk winter range and important corridors for elk, mule deer, moose, and black bear movement between the Big Hole River Valley, Continental Divide and Horse Prairie. Threatened and sensitive species found in the area include Canada lynx, wolverine and northern
goshawk. With its stunning diversity of habitat and wildlife, including grassland meadows, sagebrush, and forests dominated by ponderosa pine and Douglas fir, and 2.5 stream miles of productive fisheries and adjacent riparian habitat, the shifting of this property into public domain provides greater opportunities for hunting, fishing, camping, sightseeing and other wildlife-based recreation. A one-quarter mile section of the Nez Perce National Historic Trail crosses the property adding cultural and historical significance to the project. RMEF is proud to work with dedicated landowners, the U.S. Forest Service and other partners to conserve important landscapes in Montana’s elk country. The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), Montana Fish and Wildlife Conservation Trust and the Cinnabar Foundation provided funding for this project. This project was part of the High Divide Landscape Collaborative, a cooperative effort to conserve some of the landscape’s best elk county and natural resources, and funded with LWCF in part due to the efforts of the federal, state and private conservation partners and made possible through strong support of the Montana congressional delegation.

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