Oregon wilderness area remains public after RMEF purchase

To participate in the elk hunt, hunters must submit an application, then must be selected through a random drawing and purchase a license. The drawing annually attracts more than 30,000 applicants.

PENDLETON, Ore. — A large swath of Oregon wilderness that was recently purchased by a private organization will be kept open to the public.

The East Oregonian reports that the 470-acre property in the Eagle Cap wilderness was purchased by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation in January and conveyed back to the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. The region includes access to some of Eagle Cap’s popular hiking trails.

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Senior Lands Program Manager Bill Richardson says the group spent several years working with the U.S. Forest Service to buy the land from the Hostetter Family Trust. The purchase protects access to the land for hunting, fishing and recreation.

The Montana-based elk foundation identified the land as a priority because it lies between elk summer and winter ranges.

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