The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation will allocate nearly $2.9 million for elk and wildlife-related conservation projects in 27 states with wild, free-ranging elk populations in 2013. Additionally $570,000 will also be allocated to hunting heritage programs in 49 states.

The funding totals $3,459,899, which is derived from banquet-based memberships and fundraising by local RMEF chapters, and represents a 30 percent increase from 2010.

“This is a testament to the mission focused attitude of our dedicated volunteers,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “Their successful chapter banquets raise money which is then turned around and put back on the ground to RMEF mission programs in their own states.”

Habitat projects are selected for RMEF grants using science-based criteria and a committee of RMEF volunteers and staff along with representatives from partnering agencies and universities from their respective states. Examples of projects include habitat stewardship such as prescribed burning, forest thinning and management, weed control, water improvements and more, mostly on public lands. Also included are research projects to improve management of elk, habitat, predators and other factors that influence conservation.

“These funds allow us to carry out dozens of projects that are vital to help elk and enhance elk habitat,” said Blake Henning, RMEF vice president of Lands and Conservation. “Among those efforts are a radio-collar elk study in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, five burn projects in Wyoming to improve forage, and various other research, fence removal and water supply projects.”

Allocated 2013 amounts for states with wild, free-ranging elk populations:

Alaska $17,339
Arizona $166,148
Arkansas $41,404
California $327,236
Colorado $249,376
Idaho $69,427
Kansas $10,000
Kentucky $60,558
Michigan $10,000
Minnesota $40,903
Missouri $5,000
Montana $438,129
Nebraska $10,000
Nevada $42,301
New Mexico $104,782
North Carolina$13,746
North Dakota $65,187
Oklahoma $13,728
Oregon $233,239
Pennsylvania $63,309
South Dakota $85,396
Tennessee $10,000
Utah $10,000
Virginia $10,000
Washington $283,078
Wisconsin $67,940
Wyoming $481,285

The amount listed above refers to money raised exclusively by RMEF volunteers in their individual states. RMEF will also distribute money received through donations, teaming with partners, grants and other means to its national core programs of habitat stewardship, land protection, elk restoration and hunting heritage.

Hunting heritage projects are selected by RMEF staff and volunteers in their individual states and are based on the ability to provide education about habitat conservation, the value of hunting, hunting ethics and wildlife management, and reaching out to youth.

Logo courtesy Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

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