Tuesday, October 12, 2021

RMEF, Partners Provide $3.3 Million for Oregon Conservation Projects

MISSOULA, Mont. — The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and its partners allocated $3,354,581 of grant funding to enhance wildlife habitat, scientific research and hunting heritage projects in Oregon. RMEF contributed $189,305 and leveraged an additional $3,165,276 in partner dollars.

“So much good will come from this funding across nearly 4,500 acres of elk habitat including noxious weed treatment, installing wildlife-friendly fencing and aspen, meadow, wetland and grassland restoration work,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “There are also three important research projects that will help shape the future of elk management as well as a number of projects that support and promote hunting.”

The conservation work will benefit Benton, Clackamas, Coos, Crook, Curry, Deschutes, Douglas, Grant, Harney, Jackson, Josephine, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Morrow, Multnomah, Polk, Shasta, Tillamook, Umatilla, Union, Wasco, Washington, Wheeler and Yamhill Counties. There are also several statewide projects.

Oregon is home to more than 15,000 RMEF members and 23 chapters.

“We salute our Oregon volunteers who give their time and effort to generate this vital funding for these 31 different projects,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “They also completed more than a half dozen different on the ground projects in their home state this year to improve the landscape for elk and other wildlife.”

Since 1986, RMEF and its partners completed 1,023 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Oregon with a combined value of more than $72.6 million. These projects protected or enhanced 854,161 acres of habitat and opened or improved public access to 135,046 acres.

Below is a sampling of Oregon’s 2021 projects, shown by county. Go here to see the complete list.

Coos County

  • Provide manpower for five different volunteer projects over a four-month period in the Coos County Forest. Habitat stewardship work includes replacing old, barbed-wire fencing with new wildlife-friendly fencing and constructing fence crossings designed by volunteers.

Douglas County

  • Mow and burn 225 acres at the Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area (EVA) on the Bureau of Land Management Coos Bay District to remove dead and decadent vegetation followed up by seeding and planting native forbs to maintain quality forage for elk. The EVA is the most visited site in the district, drawing 480,000 visitors annually.

Grant County

  • Provide funding for researchers to deploy 139 GPS radio collars as part of a study to determine movement patterns, seasonal use areas and annual survival in two large study areas across the Malheur, Ochoco and Umatilla National Forests in the Blue Mountains (also benefits Crook, Harney and Wheeler Counties).

Harney County

  • Remove encroaching junipers from 665 acres of aspen, mountain mahogany and sagebrush habitat on the BLM Burns District to improve elk and deer forage. Oregon State University is also conducting long-term research in the immediate area to measure benefits to elk, mule deer, birds and vegetation.

Project partners include the Ochoco, Umatilla, Umpqua and Willamette National Forests, Bureau of Land Management, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and conservation, sportsmen, university, civic and other government organizations and individuals.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

Founded more than 37 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of more than 231,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 8.2 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.