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

Critical elk migration route protected by easement-

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





  1. Salle Avatar

    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. gline Avatar
  3. gline Avatar

    Very cool though, nice to hear some good news.

  4. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

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

  5. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse

    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.

  6. gline Avatar

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

  7. Elk275 Avatar

    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.

  8. Salle Avatar


    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.

  9. jerryB Avatar

    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 “”
    His other businesses are apparently doing well.

  10. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse


    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.

  11. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse

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

  12. jerryB Avatar

    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.

  13. gline Avatar

    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.

  14. gline Avatar

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

  15. gline Avatar

    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.

  16. mikepost Avatar

    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?????

  17. Cobra Avatar

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

  18. Cobra Avatar

    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.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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