May 2, 2019

Dome Mountain Wildlife Management Area Gains Critical Elk Habitat

PARK COUNTY, Mont. — Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP), in partnership with The Conservation Fund, announced today the protection of 160 acres of essential elk habitat north of Yellowstone National Park. Located adjacent to the Dome Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and bordering the Gallatin National Forest, this ecologically significant property is used heavily by elk throughout the winter, and its inclusion in to the WMA will ensure the protection of a major wildlife migratory corridor and elk winter range.

“We are pleased to have acquired this small parcel, which is critical to maintaining the WMA’s conservation values.  This likely would not have been possible without help from The Conservation Fund,” said Howard Burt, wildlife manager for Region 3 of FWP.

The Conservation Fund purchased the property in May 2018 from private owners and transferred the property to FWP in January 2019. Funding for this effort came from FWP’s Habitat Montana Program, which provides funds for the conservation of important wildlife habitat as well as working farms and ranches.

“The protection of this site, though it may seem small, is the last piece of the puzzle within the WMA and it provides significant benefits for both FWP’s management efforts and the animals that migrate across the landscape of the Greater Yellowstone area,” said Gates Watson, The Conservation Fund’s Montana and Northwest Director. “The Fund is honored to facilitate this acquisition for the state, and we applaud their foresight in ensuring the property and its natural assets will be preserved in perpetuity.”

This land will enhance elk and other wildlife habitat in the region. In the winter, the WMA supports more than 3,000 elk from the northern Yellowstone National Park herd. Protecting this land will also expand habitat for other wildlife, including mule deer, bighorn sheep, black and grizzly bears, wolves and mountain lions.

As part of the Dome Mountain WMA, the land will be open to public recreation. Dome Mountain offers seasonal elk and mule deer hunting, wildlife viewing—including opportunities for visitors to see eagles, hawks, elk and other animals—hiking and horseback riding.

The conservation of this land is part of a broader effort by The Conservation Fund to preserve land in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. This landscape, which has Yellowstone National Park at its core, also encompasses Grand Teton National Park; six national forests; three national wildlife refuges; Bureau of Land Management holdings; and state, private and tribal lands. The region, which is larger than the state of West Virginia, is home to the most intact temperate ecosystem in the world and provides habitat for one of the largest elk herds in North America. The Conservation Fund has protected tens of thousands of acres within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, including 4,700 acres in Montana.

About The Conservation Fund
At The Conservation Fund, we make conservation work for America. By creating solutions that make environmental and economic sense, we are redefining conservation to demonstrate its essential role in our future prosperity. Top-ranked for efficiency and effectiveness, we have worked in all 50 states since 1985 to protect more than eight million acres of land, including nearly 250,000 acres across Montana.

Howard Burt | Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks | 406-994-6935 | 
Val Keefer | The Conservation Fund | 703-908-5802 |