MISSOULA, Mont. –-(Ammoland.com)- Improving forage quality and quantity for elk and other wildlife is the focus of 2013 grants from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation for the state of Oregon.
The grants total $215,790 and directly affect Benton, Douglas, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Tillamook, Union, Wallowa, Wasco and Yamhill Counties. RMEF is also funding a hunting heritage project of statewide interest.
“These projects cover a wide spectrum of actions that will enhance habitat across Oregon’s elk country,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “Forest thinning, prescribe burns, seeding and planting native grasses, noxious weed treatments, and restoring aspens will positively affect nearly 4,200 acres.”
Since 1985, RMEF and its partners completed 724 different conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Oregon with a combined value of more than $43.6 million.
“The funds for these projects are a testament to the passion and dedication of our RMEF volunteers in Oregon. They raise money through their membership drives and banquet fundraising, which stays on the ground in their home state. To them we say, ‘Thank you!'” said Allen.
Allen also thanked RMEF chapters and volunteers around the nation for their dedication to conservation all across elk country.
RMEF grants will help fund the following 2013 projects, listed by county:
- Douglas County–Burn 200 acres to reduce understory tree density in the Coffin Butte area on the Umpqua National Forest and create 12 new acres of forage openings in the Diamond Lake Ranger District to address declining Roosevelt elk populations.
- Klamath County–Thin 205 acres and burn 1,100 acres of previously thinned acreage as part of a five-year project to enhance habitat for elk and other wildlife in the Fremont-Winema National Forest (FWNF); remove lodgepole pine on 90 acres and plant 5 acres of hardwoods to restore meadows on the Deschutes National Forest; remove small trees and burn 79 acres to promote native grass and forbs in a Roosevelt elk calving area south of Crater Lake National Park.
- Lake County–Thin conifers and junipers from 158 acres in the Drews Creek watershed on the FWNF as part of a five-year plan to restore aspen stands and improve elk forage and calving habitat; and thin 198 acres of aspen stands and meadow habitat in the Upper Scyan Watershed on the FWNF (also affects Klamath County).
- Lane County–Carry out prescribe burning, noxious weed treatments and other efforts on 230 acres of the Willamette National Forest (WNF) to increase forage quality for Roosevelt elk and deer; enhance 199 acres via seeding, planting browse shrubs, herbicide treatments, and installing holding tanks and plumbing at two ponds to enhance water availability during the dry season on Foley Ridge in the WNF; burn, cut, seed and prevent weed growth to benefit summer range and calving areas on 85 acres of habitat on Upper and Lower Murphy Meadow on the WNF; remove noxious weeds and seed native grasses on 79 acres along a power transmission line corridor on the WNF; and improve quality of grass, forb and brush habitat on 505 acres by removing blackberry vegetation and small trees plus treatment of noxious weeds on the Siuslaw National Forest (also affects Benton, Douglas and Lincoln counties).
- Linn County–Implement a combination of thinning, burning, browse cutback and seeding and planting of native vegetation to enhance 64 acres of summer meadow habitat for Roosevelt elk in the west Cascade Mountains. The work also includes adding slash to log jams to improve water availability for elk in the WNF.
- Statewide–Host 4-H camp at Lake Creek Youth Camp to introduce youth to careers in natural resources by interacting with professionals in hydrology, forestry, range, wildlife, fisheries, fire science, shooting sports and other fields.
- Tillamook County–Noxious weed treatment applied to 156 acres of meadows in the Siuslaw National Forest. The work also includes mowing, weedeating and mulching to benefit Roosevelt elk herds (also affects Lincoln and Yamhill counties).
- Union County–Thin 300 acres to decrease conifer cover and increase forage on elk summer range on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.
- Wallowa County–Thin conifers from 330 acres of historic meadows to improve forage quality and quantity for 400 elk on crucial winter range near Troy.
- Wasco County–Burning of underbrush on 80 acres on the Seven Mile/Rowena Plateau in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area with noxious weed treatment on 45 acres to follow to improve habitat for elk and other wildlife.
Conservation projects are selected for grants using science-based criteria and a committee of RMEF volunteers and staff along with representatives from partnering agencies. RMEF staff and volunteers select education projects to receive grants. RMEF volunteers and staff select hunting heritage projects to be funded.
Partners for 2013 Oregon projects include the Deschutes, Freemont-Winema, Siuslaw, Wallowa-Whitman and Willamette national forests, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and other government, state, wildlife and volunteer organizations.
About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
RMEF is leading a conservation initiative that protected or enhanced habitat on more than 6.3 million acres–an area larger than Yellowstone, Great Smoky Mountains, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Yosemite and Rocky Mountain national parks combined. RMEF also is a strong voice for hunters in access, wildlife management and conservation policy issues. RMEF members, partners and volunteers, working together as Team Elk, are making a difference all across elk country. Join us at www.rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.