Elk NetworkAtaya, KY – onX Public Access Project

onX Public Access | June 11, 2024

Ataya, KY

Wins for elk, other wildlife, hunting and especially public access and conservation don’t get much bigger than this one.

In late 2023, a four-way partnership between the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources or KDFWR, The Nature Conservancy and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation completed a legacy project in the heart of Appalachian elk range.

The Cumberland Forest-Ataya landscape-scale voluntary conservation and perpetual access agreement protects 54,636 acres in eastern Kentucky for sustainable forestry, drinking water security, wildlife habitat and, of course, public recreational access.

Plus, it connects 274,000 acres of conservation land stretching into neighboring Tennessee – a landscape that’s home to elk, whitetail, black bears, wild turkey, ruffed grouse, migratory songbirds and other wildlife and aquatic species.

This latest conservation milestone comes 26 years after RMEF supplied vital funding and volunteer support to help with the successful restoration of wild elk to their historic Kentucky range, and 22 years after the state’s first managed elk hunt.

Creating and improving public access is a long-time focus of RMEF’s mission.

Since 1984 – RMEF has opened or improved public access to 1.5 million acres.

To view the sites and boundaries of RMEF land conservation and access projects, turn on the RMEF layer and use the code RMEF when you sign up for your onX subscription to receive a 20% discount.