Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to Fund New Mexico Conservation Projects
MISSOULA, Mont. –-(Ammoland.com)- Wildlife conservation projects in eight New Mexico counties have been selected to receive grants from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation in 2010.
The new RMEF funding, totaling $49,440, will affect Catron, Cibola, Mora, Otero, Rio Arriba, Santa Fe, Sierra and Socorro counties.
“These grants are possible because of the successful banquets and fundraisers staged over the past year by our New Mexico volunteers—most of whom are elk hunters as well as devoted conservationists,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO.
“Since 1984, our annual grants have helped complete 239 different projects in New Mexico with a combined value of more than $18.3 million.”
RMEF grants will help fund the following projects, listed by county:
- Catron County—Mechanically treat 716 acres of encroaching conifer to improve forage for elk in Pelona Mountain area of BLM lands; repair water tanks and windmills and construct fencing to improve permanent water sources for wildlife and livestock in Sweazea Draw Meadow area.
- Cibola County—Launch first phase of a multi-year 30,000-acre project to restore ponderosa pine forest and meadow habitat for elk and other wildlife in Cibola National Forest near Grants, N.M. First-phase treatment includes enhancing 1,388 acres of ponderosa pine and mountain meadow habitat.
- Mora County—Restore grassland, wet meadow and riparian habitat in Wagon Mound area to benefit the region’s elk herd.
- Otero County—Thin up to 800 acres of overgrown forests in Lincoln National Forest to rejuvenate habitat for elk, mule deer, wild turkey, Montezuma quail and other species.
- Rio Arriba County—Prescribe burn 3,000 acres of ponderosa pine to create forage openings and improve forage for elk and other wildlife in Santa Fe National Forest.
- Santa Fe County—Thin 30-40 acres of encroaching conifer to reduce hazardous fuels and improve habitat for elk in the La Cueva area of the Santa Fe National Forest.
- Sierra County—Prescribe burn 5,000 acres of mixed conifers to restore grazing quality for elk and other wildlife in the Gila National Forest.
- Socorro County—Prescribe burn 18,422 acres, and mechanically thin 2,536 acres, to restore forage areas, aspen stands, seeps and springs for elk in Cibola National Forest.
Projects are selected for grants using science-based criteria and a committee of RMEF volunteers and staff along with representatives from partnering agencies and universities.
Partners for 2010 projects in New Mexico include the Bureau of Land Management, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, U.S. Forest Service, other agencies, corporations and landowners.
About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Snowy peaks, dark timber basins and grassy meadows. RMEF is leading an elk country initiative that has conserved or enhanced habitat on over 5.7 million acres—a land area equivalent to a swath three miles wide and stretching along the entire Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico. RMEF also works to open, secure and improve public access for hunting, fishing and other recreation. Get involved at www.rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.