Elk NetworkHunters Get Greater Access to More of Idaho

General | April 13, 2020

Below is a news release from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

Idaho hunters and anglers can expect to see a significant increase in public access to private land as early as this fall through Fish and Game’s Access Yes! program, thanks to a $900,000 federal grant recently awarded to the department.

“All of the grant funding made available through this program will go directly toward securing access agreements with private property owners, thereby increasing the acres of private land containing quality wildlife habitat that are open to public access in Idaho,” said Sal Palazzolo, Private Lands/Farm Bill Program Coordinator for Fish and Game. “We intend to begin enrolling new properties as soon as this spring, with the goal of having those properties accessible to hunters and anglers by the fall hunting and fishing seasons.”

The $900,000 grant will be broken up over three years and will allow for the continued expansion of Fish and Game’s Access Yes! program, which improves access to private land or through private land by compensating willing landowners who provide access.

As of April 2020, there are about 310,000 acres of private property enrolled in Access Yes!, and Fish and Game officials hope to substantially increase the number of acres over the next three years using the new funds.

Idaho Fish and Game received the $900,000 grant through the 2020 Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP). The VPA-HIP is a program under the 2018 Farm Bill that provides funding to help state and tribal governments encourage landowners to allow public access to their land for hunting, fishing, and other wildlife-dependent recreation.

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation donated to the Access Yes! program in the past, including $50,000 in 2014.

(Photo source: Idaho Department of Fish and Game)