MISSOULA, Mont. -(Ammoland.com)- The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation awarded $107,605 in grant funding toward 19 habitat stewardship and hunting heritage projects in New Mexico.
The grants benefit 4,670 acres across Bernalillo, Catron, Curry, Grant, Lincoln, Otero, Roosevelt, San Juan, San Miguel and Torrance Counties. There are also two projects of statewide benefit and another that benefits northeast Arizona.
“Water is at a high premium across New Mexico’s arid landscape,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “Nearly a third of our projects this year focus on improving water sources for elk and other wildlife.”
RMEF members in New Mexico raised the funds via banquets, membership drives and other efforts.
Since 1985, RMEF and its partners completed 374 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in New Mexico with a combined value of more than $42.9 million. These projects conserved and enhanced 512,691 acres of habitat and opened or secured public access to 88,958 acres.
Here is a sampling of the 2017 projects, listed by county:
- Catron County — Mechanically treat 350 acres of Bureau of Land Management managed land in the Coyote Peak area in preparation for a future prescribed burn as part of a multi-year effort to maintain and enhance elk and mule deer across the Pelona Mountain landscape.
- Grant County — Prescribe burn 320 acres in the Mimbres Valley to remove encroaching pinyon-juniper as part of an ongoing effort to reintroduce and maintain fire on the landscape and benefit wildlife habitat across the Gila National Forest.
- Lincoln County — Create four small wetlands and expand another to benefit 800 acres in the Smokey Bear Ranger District on the Lincoln National Forest as well as construct a fence around each to limit the use to wildlife in an area where the elk population tripled over the last ten years.
Go here for a complete project listing.
New Mexico project partners include Cibola, Gila, Lincoln and Santa Fe National Forests, Bureau of Land Management and New Mexico Department of Game and Fish as well as sportsmen, civic and other organizations.
Areas Where We've Restored Long-Absent Elk Populations
- Kentucky – Eastern coalfields
- Missouri – Peck Ranch Conservation Area
- North Carolina – Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- Ontario – Various locations
- Tennessee – Cumberland Plateau
- Virginia – Buchanan County
- West Virginia – Tomblin Wildlife Management Area
- Wisconsin – Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest
About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
In support of our mission, the RMEF is committed to: conserving, restoring and enhancing natural habitats; promoting the sound management of wild elk, which may be hunted or otherwise enjoyed; restoring elk to their native ranges; and educating members and the public about habitat conservation and our hunting heritage.
Acres Protected and Enhanced
- More than 7.1 million acres
Number of Acres Opened and/or Secured for Public Access for Hunting and Other Outdoor Recreation
- More than 1.1 million acres opened and/or secured
Number of Permanent Land Protection, Habitat Stewardship, Elk Restoration, Conservation Education and Hunting Heritage Projects
- More than 10,469 projects
Founded over 30 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of more than 222,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 7.1 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 www.rmef.org, www.elknetwork.com or 800-CALL ELK.