Elk NetworkCumberland, TN – onX Public Access Project

onX Public Access | October 3, 2023

Cumberland, TN

When something works, you stick with it – especially if it’s good news for elk, deer, black bears and other wildlife.

In 2021, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation answered a call to help conserve and expand public access in Tennessee elk country.

The project called for enlarging the 43,000-acre Ed Carter Unit of the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area by 850 acres.

Located in northern Tennessee near the Kentucky border, the property features hardwood forests and other prime elk habitat, plus the headwaters of the Cumberland River system and its accompanying riparian habitat so important for fish and other aquatic species as well as wildlife.

In the end, The Nature Conservancy and The Conservation Fund, with assistance from RMEF and others, pushed the project across the finish line and conveyed the land to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency – a win for wildlife, hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing and public access.

Those same four main organizations set a conservation precedent in a similar, though much larger, way two decades earlier.

In 2002, two years after RMEF helped restore elk to the Volunteer State, the groups teamed up to purchase and convey a 74,000-acre block of habitat that is now a major part of the North Cumberland WMA.

That, too, is open to public access to this day.

Since 1984, RMEF has opened or improved public access to more than 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 -> Join Here