Atlanta — The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is giving the state of Michigan 32 acres of prime elk habitat that the group owns in the Pigeon River State Forest.
Pigeon River in the northeastern Lower Peninsula hosts the largest free-roaming elk herd in the Great Lakes region. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources promotes elk habitat growth there, including aspen trees on which the animals feed.
The 32-acre parcel is near one of the best public elk viewing areas in the forest.
Blake Henning of the elk foundation says there was a risk the land would be subdivided and turned into private recreational tracts.
The foundation has carried out seven land protection projects that conserved more than 3,200 acres of Michigan elk habitat. Deer, bear, turkey and other wildlife also will benefit.