Conrad Rowe photograph of elk moving across the Blackfoot-Clearwater
Wildlife Management Area, commonly referred to as The Game Range.
March 15, 2001
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Seeley Lake, Montana
MISSOULA, Mont. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has received a $135,000 grant from the Seattle-based Paul G. Allen Forest Protection Foundation to help meet funding commitments from Phase I of the Blackfoot-Clearwater Wildlife Management Area conservation project.
"The PGA Foundation awarded this significant gift to the Blackfoot-Clearwater conservation project based on several criteria, including its proximity to protected areas and recreational draws including the Bob Marshall Wilderness complex and the Seeley-Swan River valley," said Sue Coliton, foundations manager. "It's clear that development pressure will steadily increase in the future, and it's critical to help permanently protect the forest and wildlife resources that draw people to the area and are such an important part of the ecosystem."
Initiated in 1999, the Blackfoot-Clearwater WMA project is a four-phase effort aimed at securing 7,800 acres surrounding Boyd Mountain. Completion of the 856-acre Phase I acquisition was critical to the success of the remaining phases.
The second phase, consisting of a 3,000-acre exchange between Plum Creek Timber Company and the Montana Department of Natural Resources, is currently the topic of an environmental impact statement being developed for completion in spring of 2001. Public comment can be forwarded to Mike Thompson at the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks' Region 2 headquarters through March 15. The lands involved in Phase II comprise primarily spring and fall range for migrating elk, spring-summer-fall range for white-tailed deer, and winter range for bull elk.
Phase III will involve exchange of an additional 3,000 acres of Plum Creek property on top of Boyd Mountain and Sperry Mountain. The Lolo National Forest is currently exploring options to complete Phase III, including the possibility of trading scattered national forest tracts to Plum Creek for the Boyd Mountain acreage. Phase IV will involve an exchange to bring the remaining 944 acres of Plum Creek inholdings into public ownership.
Additional grants and donations for phase I of the project came from numerous companies and private foundations such as the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Thoresen Foundation, the Missoulian and Lee Enterprises. Donations have also been dedicated in memory of Irvine C. Ward and his vision for outdoor recreation opportunities throughout Montana, and Philip D. Tawney for his profound sense of responsibility to preserve elk and elk country.
"The mission of the PGA foundation mirrors that of the Elk Foundation, focusing on conservation of wildlife habitat and providing public recreational access," said Dan Walker, vice president of development for the Elk Foundation. "Thanks to their help, we will be able to continue securing places like the Blackfoot-Clearwater WMA for future generations to enjoy."
The Paul G. Allen Forest Protection Foundation supports projects that acquire forestlands and protect them from development and exploitation. Through acquisition projects, the Foundation endeavors to preserve wildlife habitat and provide low-impact recreational access to the public. Past grant recipients include the Trust for Public Lands and The Nature Conservancy. Established in 1997, the foundation is administered through Vulcan Northwest, Inc., of Seattle.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is an international, nonprofit conservation organization whose mission is to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat. Founded in 1984, the Foundation now has 120,000 members who have helped generate the funds to conserve and enhance more than 3 million acres of wildlife habitat across North America. To learn more about the Elk Foundation, visit www.elkfoundation.org, or phone 1-800 CALL ELK.
Our Banquet this year is limited to 150 persons and will be a sit-down, served dinner plate at the Double Arrow Resort.
Tickets are limited so please make your reservation early by contacting: