Critical elk migration route protected by easement-

3-way easement makes Upper Miller Creek ranch an elk haven. By Rob Cheney.  Missoulian

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

18 Responses to Bitterroot Valley: 3-way easement makes Upper Miller Creek ranch an elk haven

  1. avatar Salle says:

    An interesting line nearn the end of the article…

    “…now that his family no longer run cattle on the place, beaver and wild turkeys have made an appearance.”

    Imagine that.

  2. avatar gline says:

    Very cool though, nice to hear some good news.

  3. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Salle, it’s amazing what shows up when livestock leave. Before too long there will be some predator prey relationship going probably.

  4. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    The important part of this story is that Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation working with a member rancher just saved over 200 acres of winter habitat for all wildlife. Whether it remains a place just outside town where people can view elk in winter as wolves become more widely dispersed is an unanswered question.

  5. avatar gline says:

    We don’t have wolves in Miller creek… wish so.

  6. avatar Elk275 says:

    Maybe no wolves but in my younger day they had the best keggers in the world — Aber day keggers in early May in the 1970’s.

  7. avatar Salle says:

    ProWolf,

    I was being sarcastic. I am well aware of what takes place on the landscape when cattle go away, for whatever reason. I too feel that it is significant that RMEF was involved and that this is a very good thing for them to do. If wolves happen to find their way there, I would hope they will be welcomed as an important factor in the overall health of the area’s ecological situation. It’s beautiful country there and I hope that there are more large parcel landowners who take this course of action to preserve the natural environment. I’m also impressed that some of the funding came from the metropolis nearby.

  8. avatar jerryB says:

    Salle…….I’m glad to see the elk and land protected, however, I know the owner and he hates wolves(one of his businesses is elk outfitting). I’ve talked to him about it and he has no doubts that wolves have decimated the elk herds. He cites the info on “saveourelk.com”
    His other businesses are apparently doing well.

  9. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    gline

    Unless I interpret this data incorrectly, according to MFWP there are wolves in the Upper Miller Creek system as of September this year. Apparently the aerial visual sighting includes two collared females for a total of 6.

    fwp.mt.gov/content/getItem.aspx?id=40493

  10. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    Sorry, full website for above post on aerial sighting of wolves in Upper Miller Creek.

    http://fwp.mt.gov/content/getItem.aspx?id=40493

  11. avatar jerryB says:

    gline….the Miller Creek Pack has been in that area for at least 6 years….fortunately, MFWP was not aware of them and they were uncollared. They ranged from Ambrose Saddle,(close to my previous home) north through Welcome Wilderness and up to Miller Creek.

    They were often found in the Three Mile WMA, especially in the winter (it’s a large elk wintering range).
    There was no predation on livestock, in fact very few people knew they were around. The ones that did, kept their mouth shut as not to let FWP know about them.

  12. avatar gline says:

    Ya Jerry, just talked with Liz Bradley- they are the Welcome Creek pack. They travel thru the area but don’t live there specifically. Good to know they are ok. made me happy to hear that even though I am online admitting my assumption that there were none. such is life.

  13. avatar gline says:

    Well guys you found my one mistake – any others? Not giving in on the Nez Perce issue…

  14. avatar gline says:

    In MT, only 50% collared and no problems right now. Just Idaho having a “cow”- I like having wolves in my backyard personally- will do some walking up miller creek now.

  15. avatar mikepost says:

    RMEF, another hunter based organization that pony’s up the cash and political will to save some habitat.

    So, where are the hiker/atv/equestrian/mountain bike folks when this kind of call for support comes out?????

  16. avatar Cobra says:

    Armchair quarterbacks don’t actually like to play the game, they just like to tell others how it should be played.

  17. avatar Cobra says:

    Just because you don’t hunt or even agree with hunting there is nothing wrong with joining organizations like the RMEF. They do a lot of good for all animals not just elk. the bugle magazine is good also. I look forward to each issue. Could be a way to benefit wildlife and learn a few things from the other evil side. It’s not all just about hunting.

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Quote

‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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