In several states, common everyday citizens have the opportunity to create public access by donating a little sweat equity.
Here is one example.
In often bone-dry central Arizona, you’ll find the sprawling 65,000-acre O’Haco Ranch, a family operation that began in 1898, 14 years before Arizona became a state.
Jim O’Haco enrolled his land in the Adopt-a-Ranch program, a cooperative effort between the Arizona Game and Fish Department, landowners and volunteers who give of their time to enhance wildlife habitat on private property in exchange for recreational public access.
A visionary, O’Haco worked with different agencies several years ago to create a massive water project. Today, the gravity flow system carries water through 42 miles of underground pipelines that feed 35 drinkers benefitting livestock as well as elk, deer and other wildlife.
Dating back to 1997, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation volunteers from across the state come together on the O’Haco Ranch every year to repair fencing and carry out other chores including building those drinkers.
In exchange for that labor, O’Haco opens the northern portion of the ranch to year-round hunting and other recreational access while the southern portion is open from mid-August through December first.
O’Haco values wildlife conservation, is a steward of the land and believes others should have access to it.
“An organization like the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. I can say the passion they have for their wildlife and I kind of have the same so if I raise them there, they deserve to be hunted here.”
Since 1984, RMEF and its partners opened or improved public access to more than 1.3 million acres of land.
To learn more about the sites and boundaries of RMEF access projects near you or your favorite hunting area, turn on the RMEF layer in the onX Hunt App.
Plus, use the code R-M-E-F when you sign up for your new onX subscription to receive a 20 percent discount, and a portion of the proceeds benefit RMEF’s mission.