RMEF Conveys Wisconsin Property to US Forest Service

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A 120-acre private in-holding in Wisconsin's Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest has been purchased by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and conveyed to the U.S. Forest Service.

The Snipe Lake property-valuable habitat for the region's growing elk herd and other wildlife-is now permanently protected from development and opened for public access.

A public celebration is being planned for May 2 at the new public lands approximately 7 miles southeast of the intersection at State Road 77 and County Road A near Hayward, Wis. The agenda includes remarks by a representative of Congressman Dave Obey, who led efforts to acquire federal funding for this project.

"Forest in-holdings are desirable real estate for cabins and homes. In 2006, RMEF was approached about buying the Snipe Lake property and protecting its wildlife and natural resource values. We purchased the land and held it until the Forest Service received funding to complete the transaction," explained Lou George, RMEF regional director in Wisconsin.

The Elk Foundation purchased the property below appraised value from conservation-minded sellers Robert and Vera Keyes of Marshfield, Wis.

"We're grateful for the conservation spirit of the Keyes family. They acted on behalf of everyone in Wisconsin who loves the outdoors," said George.

Catherine Pinegar of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest said, "We're very pleased to have worked with RMEF to acquire the Snipe Lake property. This purchase helps protect a quarter-mile mile of creek frontage and wildlife habitat while providing more recreational lands and open space to the public."

Since 1984, RMEF and its partners have completed more than 118 conservation projects in Wisconsin with a value of nearly $5 million. Partners have included the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources, U.S. Forest Service, schools, landowners and other conservation organizations.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation: Snowy peaks, dark timber basins and grassy meadows. RMEF is leading an elk country initiative that has conserved or enhanced habitat on over 5.5 million acres-a land area equivalent to a swath three miles wide and stretching along the entire Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico. RMEF also works to open, secure and improve public access for hunting, fishing and other recreation. Get involved at www.rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.