Elk NetworkWilliam H. Silver Game Land Habitat Enhancement – North Carolina

Restoring Elk Country | January 4, 2023

Western North Carolina is elk country.

About 200 elk roam the Great Smoky Mountains and surrounding landscape.

15 years after helping successfully restore elk to their native North Carolina range, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation supplied funding to help acquire and convey the majority of what’s now known as the William H. Silver Game Land to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

Totaling nearly 2,000 acres, these lands offer accessible elk habitat between Maggie Valley and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

RMEF since distributed more than $60,000 to enhance habitat for elk and other wildlife there, with the most recent projects in 2022.

Habitat treatments to date include…

…removing overgrown woody vegetation,
…converting what were old ski runs and skid trails to linear forage openings,
…reshaping and seeding former roadbeds,
…culvert repair to stabilize roads and help stop sediments from clogging up streams,
…restoring and creating multiple forage openings,
…forest thinning,
…transforming ponds once used for snowmaking to dependable wildlife water sources
…and other projects that enhance forage for elk and other wildlife while also improving walk-in access for hunting and other forms of recreation.