Elk NetworkSteel Trap – onX Public Access Project

onX Public Access | May 4, 2023

Even what appears to be the smallest of actions can leave a large, long-lasting positive imprint on elk, hunting and public access. 

What happened in southeastern Kentucky in 2022 is a perfect example. 

This rugged slice of Kentucky elk country is known as Steel Trap. 

It features a closed canopy forest with flat to moderately steep terrain that borders Phillips Fork, which feeds the Red Bird River. 

Coupled with the surrounding landscape, it provides quality habitat for elk, deer, black bears and other wildlife. 

Several years in the making, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation acquired five parcels covering nine acres within Steel Trap that were privately-owned inholdings and donated them to the Daniel Boone National Forest, simplifying what was a murky public access issue. 

RMEF’s first-ever land conservation and access transaction in Kentucky opens the door for treatments to improve wildlife habitat and may serve as a springboard to future, larger projects in the state – a win for elk, other wildlife, hunting and public access.