Collaring elk and researching herd movements and habitat use in Alaska headlines a list of 2012 conservation and hunting heritage project grants from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
The RMEF funding commitment totals $30,000 and directly affects three boroughs: Anchorage, Kodiak Island and Wrangell.
Additional projects have statewide interest.
“Wildlife managers will use the research data to help set harvest quotas on Afognak Island,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “Along with the elk conservation projects, we’re also funding several initiatives to introduce youths and other newcomers to the great outdoors, especially hunting and conservation.”
RMEF’s mission is to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage. Since 1985, the organization and its partners have completed 63 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Alaska with a combined value of more than $5.2 million.
Funding for RMEF grants is based on local membership drives and banquet fundraising by RMEF chapters and volunteers in Alaska. Allen thanked RMEF supporters for their dedication to conservation both in Alaska and all across elk country.
RMEF grants will help fund the following 2012 projects in Alaska, listed by area:
Anchorage Borough—Provide sponsorship for the annual Youth Sportsfest Firearms Safety Camp to introduce youths to shooting sports.
Kodiak Island Borough—Monitor the Afognak Island elk herd using radio telemetry to measure calf survival and seasonal herd movements. Data will used to help set harvest quotas.
Statewide—Provide sponsorship for Alaska’s Healing Hearts, which provides bear hunts for combat wounded and weary soldiers as well as outdoor events for military families; sponsor Alaska 2012 Scholastic Clay Target Program to introduce youths to shooting sports; sponsor Alaska Outdoor Kids 2012 Outdoor Youth Days, National Archery in the Schools Program and Alaska Conservation Camp to engage youths in traditional outdoor sports and conservation; sponsor Alaska 2012 Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program to introduce women to the outdoors.
Wrangell Borough—Research habitat uses and preferences, herd composition and movement patterns of elk on Zarembo and Etolin islands. Twelve elk will be collared at south Etolin, 1-2 at west Etolin and 1-2 at Zarembo.
Conservation 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. RMEF volunteers and staff select hunting heritage projects to be funded.
Partners for 2012 projects in Alaska include the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Outdoor Heritage Foundation of Alaska and other agencies, organizations and corporations.