Tuesday, July 28, 2020

RMEF, Partners Award $2 Million in Idaho

MISSOULA, Mont. — The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and its partners awarded $2,047,704 of grant funding in Idaho to benefit habitat for elk and other wildlife as well as hunting heritage projects. RMEF directly granted $232,369 and leveraged an additional $1,815,335 in partner funding.

“Idaho is home to key habitat for elk and other wildlife but there are places where habitat enhancement work in the form of prescribed burning, forest thinning, aspen restoration and invasive weed treatment can make an impactful difference,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “This grant funding will also assist Idaho youth to learn more about hunting, shooting sports, conservation and the outdoors.”

Twelve habitat enhancement projects will improve 16,130 acres. Thirteen hunting heritage projects support shooting sports, conservation outreach and mentored hunts.

Counties positively impacted include Ada, Adams, Blaine, Boise, Bonner, Bonneville, Boundary, Camas, Caribou, Cassia, Custer, Elmore, Franklin, Fremont, Gem, Idaho, Kootenai, Minidoka, Oneida, Shoshone, Teton, Valley and Washington Counties. Three projects are of statewide benefit.

“We salute our volunteers in Idaho who raised these funds by hosting banquets, membership drives and other events,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “It is thanks to their efforts that elk country is enhanced in Idaho and across the country.”

There are nearly 9,000 members across 18 chapters in Idaho.

Since 1985, RMEF and its partners completed 605 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Idaho with a combined value of more than $83.5 million. These projects protected or enhanced 558,332 acres of habitat and opened or improved public access to 28,509 acres.

Below is a sampling of projects, shown by county.

Caribou County

  • Remove 50 acres of conifer encroachment in aspen stands on the Blackfoot River Wildlife Management Area as part of a larger effort to restore the riparian area.

Oneida County

  • Burn 412 acres of land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) near Malad to benefit elk summer range. This is the initial phase of a multi-year project using a combination of thinning, timber harvest and prescribed burning to treat upwards of 4,000 acres over 10 to 15 years.

Washington County

  • Treat 2,000 acres of invasive weeds across BLM-managed public land to benefit elk and mule deer winter range (also benefits Adams and Gem Counties).

Go here to view a list of all 25 projects.

Project partners include the Boise, Caribou-Targhee, Idaho Panhandle, Nez Perce-Clearwater, Payette and Sawtooth National Forests, Bureau of Land Management, Idaho Department of Fish and Game and various conservation, sportsmen and other groups and individuals.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

Founded more than 36 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of nearly 235,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 7.9 million acres for elk and other wildlife. RMEF also works to open and improve public access, fund and advocate for science-based resource management, and ensure the future of America’s hunting heritage. Discover why “Hunting Is Conservation™” at rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.