Elk NetworkIdaho Fish and Game, RMEF Expand Vital Wildlife Winter Range

News Releases | February 8, 2024

MISSOULA, Mont. — Idaho Fish and Game and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation again teamed up to expand the Tex Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA) just west of Idaho Falls, used by up to 5,500 elk and 3,000 mule deer during the critical winter months. This time, their collaborative efforts conserved and added 328 acres to the nearly 36,000-acre WMA. 

“This is a great addition to the WMA and provides a crucial winter range for thousands of elk, moose and deer that summer throughout millions of acres of eastern Idaho. For these big game animals, there are few other alternatives for surviving winter. The additional acreage added to the WMA enhances our ability to provide quality wildlife habitat and additional access for hunters into the future,” said Rob Cavallaro, Idaho Fish and Game Upper Snake Region habitat manager. “We wish to thank the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation for their longtime support of Tex Creek WMA and being a significant and extremely meaningful conservation partner. Without their substantive contributions securing this acquisition would not have been possible.”    

The Tex Creek WMA is a mixture of state and federal lands managed by Idaho Fish and Game for wildlife habitat, hunting and other recreational activities. It is a destination for elk and mule deer, some of which migrate there from up to 70 miles away. It also used by moose, Columbian-tailed grouse, upland and migratory birds, nongame and other species. 

“Every piece of habitat counts, especially when it comes to winter range like this that supplies life-sustaining forage, water, cover and room to roam,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “We appreciate the leadership of our partners at Idaho Fish and Game for making this happen.” 

RMEF supplied $187,500 to help push the project across the finish line. 

Idaho Fish and Game and RMEF have a long, collaborative history on the WMA, which features sagebrush, bitterbrush, grasslands, aspen stands and other plant diversity. In addition to habitat enhancement projects, the two organizations worked with landowners and the Bureau of Land Management to piece together four sections of elk habitat and add them to the WMA from 1997 to 2016. Those efforts enlarged the WMA by 3,260 acres, or what was previously about 10 percent of its overall size, while greatly improving landscape connectivity and expanding public access.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation: 

Founded in 1984 and fueled by hunters, RMEF has conserved more than 8.9 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.