Funding provided by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation will assist elk research and help ensure Alaska’s rich hunting heritage. The RMEF 2013 grants total $41,550 and affect communities and locations across Alaska.
“When you think Alaska, what immediately comes to mind is its rich outdoor culture and tradition,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “These grants will enhance that and our hunting heritage by supporting outdoor camps for youth and adults, archery and shooting programs, and sponsorship of a hunt for wounded veterans. Funding also goes toward research to learn more about elk herds on Etolin and Zarembo Islands.”
Since 1992, RMEF and its partners completed 73 different conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Alaska with a combined value of more than $5.3 million.
RMEF grants will help fund the following 2013 projects:
Anchorage–Provide sponsorship for three-day Outdoor Youth Days to help those age 10-14 foster a greater awareness, respect, appreciation and enjoyment of Alaska’s natural resources through a wide range of outdoor-related activities including firearms safety, outdoor survival skills, map and compass use, boating safety and more.
Chugiak–Provide sponsorship of Youth Firearms Safety Day at Birchwood Recreation and Shooting Park through volunteer instructors.
Etolin and Zarembo Islands–In partnership with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, fund research for a multi-year study using radio collars to monitor the distribution, habitat preferences and population status of two elk herds.
Fairbanks–Provide sponsorship of Alaska Conservation Camp which gives youth hands-on learning in hunting, fishing, wildlife conservation and related outdoor skills. An RMEF SAFE (Shooting Access For Everyone) Challenge event offers instruction in safe and responsible firearms conducted during each camp session.
Talkeetna–Provide sponsorship of activities at YMCA Camp Peggy Lake which offers children grades 2nd through 8th the opportunity to learn rifle shooting, archery, safe boating skills, animal tracking, plant identification and wilderness survival skills. The camp also added a military week that allows children of military families to attend one week for no cost.
Various locations–Provide sponsorship for Alaska’s Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) program. Several BOW women attendees assist at RMEF Alaska banquets; provide sponsorship of Alaska’s National Archery in the Schools program; and provide sponsorship of Youth Shooting Leagues that reach boys and girls in Anchorage, Chugiak, Homer, Ketchikan, Soldotna and Wasilla.
Wasilla–Provide scholarships and shot shells for the Alaska Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) State Championship, which was also the first State Championship for the new Varsity Program. The varsity event drew competitors from the Matanuska-Susitna School District, the first Alaska school district to offer a letter in clay target sports.
Willow–Provide sponsorship for an Alaska’s Healing Hearts bear hunt for five wounded veterans from Alaska, Colorado, and Hawaii. Many celebrities including Jim Zumbo, RMEF board member, accompany the veterans on their hunt.
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.
Partners for the 2013 projects include the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Outdoor Heritage Foundation of Alaska, and other state and local agencies, foundations, corporations and organizations.
Logo courtesy Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation