Elk NetworkRMEF Conserves New Mexico Elk, Mule Deer Migration Corridor

News Releases | December 4, 2023

MISSOULA, Mont. — Thanks to a northern New Mexico landowner who appreciates the wildlife values of his property, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation conserved 3,537 acres of critical winter range for elk and mule deer. 

Stanley Ruyle entered a voluntary conservation agreement with RMEF that also helps protect a key corridor for tens of thousands of migrating elk and mule deer between the San Juan Mountains of southern Colorado and wintering grounds in New Mexico. 

“We salute and recognize Mr. Ruyle for his vision and foresight in keeping his land the way it is in perpetuity. His actions allow elk and other wildlife to continue using their historic migratory habitat and corridors,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. 

The Amargo Canyon property is in the same area as four (and possibly soon to be five) other RMEF voluntary conservation agreements. It supplies a mixture of meadows, aspen and conifer forests, and grasslands along with a number of springs, stock ponds and seasonal streams, including Amargo Creek riparian habitat.  

Originally part of New Mexico’s iconic Broken Butt Ranch, Ruyle’s property lies between the 10,950-acre W.A. Humphries State Wildlife Management Area (WMA) to the southwest, 20,209-acre Edward Sargent WMA to the east, U.S. Forest Service land to the northeast and Jicarilla Apache Nation lands to the south. The property agreement results in an increase of protected, contiguous open space for wildlife. 

Since 1987, RMEF and its partners conserved or enhanced more than 538,000 acres of New Mexico elk habitat. 

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation: 

Founded more than 39 years ago and fueled by hunters, RMEF maintains more than 225,000 members and has conserved more than 8.7 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.