Wyoming Conservation Projects to Receive RMEF Grants

Wyoming Conservation Projects to Receive RMEF Grants

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

MISSOULA, Mont. –-(Ammoland.com)- Wildlife conservation projects in 12 Wyoming counties have been selected to receive grants from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation in 2010.

The new RMEF funding, totaling $335,500, will affect Albany, Big Horn, Carbon, Converse, Fremont, Hot Springs, Lincoln, Natrona, Park, Sheridan, Sublette and Teton counties.

“These grants are possible because of the successful banquets and fundraisers staged over the past year by our Wyoming 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 408 different projects in Wyoming with a combined value of more than $40 million.”

RMEF grants will help fund the following projects, listed by county:

  • Big Horn County—Prescribe burn 500 acres of juniper and sagebrush to enhance habitat for elk, bighorn sheep and sage grouse in Devil’s Canyon area of BLM lands; thin 50 acres of conifer to restore aspen in Markum Draw area of BLM lands.
  • Carbon County—Restore aspen and improve forage diversity for elk by thinning 600 acres of conifer in Little Snake River area of Medicine Bow National Forest and BLM lands; assist with conservation easement on 7,003 acres to protect important wildlife habitat and 14 miles of streams and rivers; provide funding for a new wildlife underpass along Hwy. 789.
  • Fremont County—Rejuvenate aspen stands by removing conifers from 140 acres of elk habitat in Willow and Josh creek areas of BLM lands.
  • Hot Springs County—Thin 66 acres of encroaching conifer to restore aspen stands and habitat quality for elk and other wildlife in Hess Creek area on BLM lands.
  • Lincoln County—Prescribe burn 1,665 acres of aspen and sagebrush to restore forage quality in elk habitat in North Murphy Creek area of Bridger-Teton National Forest; treat noxious weeds on 405 acres in Greys River area of Bridger-Teton National Forest.
  • Natrona County—Build exclosure fencing to protect aspen stands and habitat for elk and other wildlife in south Big Horns area; continue landscape scale initiative to restore natural vegetation and enhance streamflows in Bates Creek watershed (also affects Converse and Albany counties).
  • Park County—Provide funding for research to determine elk migration patterns in Absaroka Mountains; remove encroaching conifer by treating 50 acres and prescribe burning 200 acres in Shoshone National Forest; modify 200 yards of livestock fencing to create a wildlife-friendly crossing area near Meeteetse, Wyo.; treat 400 acres of noxious weeds to improve forage on elk winter range near Graybull River in Shoshone National Forest and BLM lands; assist with conservation easement to protect 13,657 acres in an area being fragmented by subdivision; prescribe burn 100 acres of juniper and sagebrush to improve forage in Breteche Creek area on BLM lands.
  • Sheridan County—Assist with conservation easement on 1,028 acres that provides a vital corridor for wintering game herds in the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains.
  • Sublette County—Provide funding for fourth-year operations of a Wyoming Front Aspen Restoration program to benefit habitat for elk and other wildlife; assist Wyoming Game and Fish Department with a 19,000-acre conservation easement that will include public access along five miles of the Green River; provide funding for research on seasonal elk use of feedgrounds and adjacent habitat; offer cost-free wildlife-friendly fence modifications to interested landowners in key big-game migration routes.
  • Teton County—Prescribe burn 1,250 acres of winter and transition range for elk, bighorn sheep and mule deer in Gros Venture watershed in Bridger-Teton National Forest; treat 300 acres of exotic plant infestations to improve habitat in Grand Teton National Park; prescribe burn 3,500 acres and slash 500 acres to improve habitat in Hill Creek area of Caribou-Targhee 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 Wyoming include Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, 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.