State purchases forest land to protect local elk

Photo: Large Roosevelt Elk, courtesy Washington Dept. of Fish & Wildlife

OLYMPIA -- The state Fish and Wildlife Commission announced plans to purchase almost 5,500 acres in Kittitas County to protect the local elk habitat.

It's part of a long-term effort to buy and preserve land to help wildlife populations thrive, according to the Yakima Herald.

The state will spend about $4.6 million on the 5,497 acres of land, located along Manastash Creek, south of Cle Elum.

It's a key migration route for the Yakima elk population, says a representative from the Nature Conservatory.

The land is currently owned by a local timber company, which has been selling land to the state for preservation.