January 7, 2013
Montana Family and RMEF Conserve Key Elk Habitat
MISSOULA, MT— The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation teamed up with a conservation-minded family to conserve 640 acres of elk and wildlife habitat in west-central Montana.
“There is no greater friend to Montana elk and elk country than the Fiehrer family,” said Blake Henning, RMEF vice president of Lands and Conservation. “Dan is an avid outdoorsman, hunter, Habitat Partner and long-time supporter of RMEF who asked us to help his family conserve their property with a donated conservation easement.”
The Fiehrer’s property is in Powell County located adjacent to the 27,616 acre Spotted Dog Wildlife Management Area which is owned and managed by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. There is also 10,260 acres of state public land intermixed with Spotted Dog creating a 38,000 acre landscape protected for elk and other wildlife. The property is also bordered on the south and north by public land managed by Montana Department of Natural Resources.
“This is a critical transaction because of surrounding private land on the east and west,” added Henning. “One parcel of that land is already subdivided and being sold as small ranchettes while the other is receiving development pressure to do the same.”
The Fiehrer family property is good summer, spring and fall habitat for elk. It also supports mule deer, mountain lion, grouse, moose, wolverine, gray wolf, and even an occasional grizzly and black bear. Dave Gulch runs through the landscape and while it does not support any significant fish populations, it does provide year round water plus there are some small springs. The property is 6,000 to 6,800 in elevation and contains a mixture of ponderosa pine, Douglas fir and grasslands. The owners report first-hand sightings of up to 50 or more elk at a time.