Hunters in Oregon almost didn’t have access to public lands, which would have restricted hunting exclusively to those who either owned land or had permission from private landowners. Luckily, the issue has been resolved.

The public will continue to have access to 43,000 acres of central Oregon’s prime elk country thanks to a group effort including the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Bureau of Land Management, Crook County, Oregon Hunters Association (OHA) and the Waibel Ranches, LLC.

“We are pleased that all parties could come together to provide continued access to a part of Oregon revered by elk hunters and others,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “Opening or improving access to our public lands lies at the core of our conservation mission. We hear time and time again from our members how important it is that we carry out this public access work.”

At issue was what was thought to be a public road through private land south of Prineville in the Crooked River drainage that provided access to the southern end of Ochoco National Forest. RMEF provided title work and research that showed continuous public use of the road since the late 1800s.

Waibel Ranches, LLC facilitated the construction of the new road at their own expense and at their own initiative. They did so in order to provide access to the same public lands as a means to reduce the liability, trespass, poaching and littering associated with public travel along the old Teaters Road.

That’s good news for Oregon hunters, obviously.

Hunting is something that should be open for all, and since tax dollars go to maintain public land anyway, people should retain access to hunt on that property. Public land allows people to hunt other than the very wealthy, and it’s the way of humans to hunt their own food.

Waibel Ranches decision to step up and provide road access is huge, especially since it sounds like they don’t profit over this at all. It’s just the right thing to do, and it’s a win for Oregon hunters.

To be sure, some animal rights activists will probably whine like there’s no tomorrow, but who cares? Those people are elitists who think people should deny our very nature and embrace a diet that’s more closely associated with our food than with anything humans have historically eaten. There’s absolutely no reason why anyone should care what they think.

As for the rest of Oregon, there are two camps you’ll see on this. At least, generally speaking.

The first group is made up of the hunters and hunting supporters who will undoubtedly support this. Their reasons make perfect sense, especially since hunters are the obvious beneficiaries of this resolution.

The second group is made up of people who just don’t care one way or another. They’re fine with this, but they wouldn’t have lost sleep if it hadn’t happened either.

Those two groups easily outnumber anyone who thinks this is somehow wrong, that hunting is somehow immoral, and that’s outright glorious.