A 4,350-acre parcel of land on the Wyoming-South Dakota border is now protected as state land. The property is in the western Black Hills and improves access to more than 8,000 acres of adjacent public land in the two states.
In 2015, the landowner approached the Wyoming Office of State Lands and Investments (OSLI) to initiate the transfer of ownership of his property. The successful transfer relied on funding from several entities, including a Forest Legacy grant.
"This property was acquired in part with funding from the National Forest Service's forest legacy program. This is only the second time that that funding has been used to protect a property in Wyoming. It can really make the difference for a large project that's expensive and the funding sources are limited," said Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation's Senior Lands Program Manager Leah Burgess.
The area will protect critical winter range for elk, whitetail and mule deer and provide habitat for several species including bighorn sheep and wild turkey.
"It's an opportunity really to showcase sustainable management on a property. It's a productive property and multiple uses can occur there, including grazing, forestry, recreation, access, it has a lot of scenic value," said Burgess.
The property is now owned and managed by OSLI and has the same guidelines as other state lands.
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