Funding to enhance elk habitat, reduce damage to private crops and sponsorship of various hunting heritage projects highlight the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s 2013 grants for the state of Michigan.

The grants total $28,500 and directly affect Cheboygan, Delta, Dickinson, Monroe, Montmorency, Oakland and Otsego Counties. There are also several projects of statewide interest.

“There are approximately 1,000 elk currently in Michigan. This funding will improve their habitat enabling the herd to prosper and grow,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “The grants will also bolster Michigan’s rich hunting and outdoor heritage.”

Allen thanked RMEF’s Michigan members and volunteers for generating the grant funding through local membership drives, banquet fundraising and other activities. He also thanked RMEF supporters for their dedication to conservation in Michigan and across elk country.

RMEF’s mission is to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage. Since 1985, RMEF and its partners completed 98 different conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Michigan with a combined value of more than $4.9 million.

RMEF’s 2013 grants will help fund the following projects in Michigan:

Cheboygan County—Enhance habitat and forage on 63 acres of elk range by cutting brush, tilling, fertilizing and planting buckwheat and white clover.

Delta County—Provide funding to assist the Upper Peninsula Youth Shotgun Sports Organization with efforts to expand participation in the Scholastic Clay Target Program into two additional Delta County school districts; and provide funding and RMEF volunteers to assist with the Great Lakes Sports & Recreation Club’s eight-week youth archery and shotgun league.

Dickinson County—Provide funding to offset travel costs to the state competition for the Dickinson County 4-H Big Shooters, which finished third place in junior air rifle, second in senior target .22, and an individual second in senior target .22.

Montmorency County—Provide funding to buy fertilizer to treat 266 acres of elk range to improve forage, reduce crop damage on nearby private lands, and provide wildlife viewing and hunting opportunities (also affects Cheboygan and Otsego Counties).

Monroe County—Provide funding and RMEF volunteers to carry out SAFE Challenge youth shooting events at the Cabela’s Family Weekend in Dundee and the Bass Pro Shops in Auburn Hills (also affects Oakland County).

Statewide—Provide funding to help cover printing costs for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Elk Management Public Outreach Brochure; and provide three Eberlestock Team Elk hunting packs to the winners of the Pure Michigan Hunt drawing.

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 receive funding.

Partners for 2013 projects in Michigan include the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and various sportsmen, wildlife and civic organizations.

Logo courtesy Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

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