Access Elk Country
The Gunnison Basin is one of the most productive watersheds in America when it comes to elk and mule deer. But as with anywhere, that will only be true as long as it hosts great habitat. In 1997, RMEF completed a two‑part acquisition nine miles west of Gunnison next to Blue Mesa Reservoir. Initially slated for residential and commercial development, this 1,800‑acre property is now known as the Centennial State Wildlife Area—selected as Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s 100-year anniversary project. Twenty‑four hunting seasons later, the state has grown by nearly 2 million people, and this area continues to pay incredible dividends by protecting critical habitat for thousands of elk and mule deer—as well as active breeding grounds for the Gunnison sage grouse, a federally listed sensitive species. The property also provides access to more than 25,000 acres of public lands. To ensure it was forever protected and open for public access, RMEF partnered on this purchase with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Great Outdoors Colorado, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.