Prescribed burning and other methods to improve elk forage, as well as the installation of wildlife-friendly fencing are among the conservation and hunting heritage projects funded by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation in Nevada.
RMEF grants for 2013 total $41,500 and directly affect eight counties: Douglas, Elko, Humboldt, Lyon, Nye, Storey, Washoe and White Pine. They also benefit Carson City.
“We have a long history of commitment to the wildlife and people of Nevada,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “These latest projects will improve habitat and corridor passage which is good news for migrating elk.”
Since 1985, RMEF and its partners completed 197 different conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Nevada with a combined value of more than $15.4 million.
“It’s also important to recognize the work by our local volunteers who raised these funds at banquets and membership drives. Because of their dedication that money goes back on the ground in Nevada,” said Allen.
Allen also thanked RMEF chapters and volunteers nationwide for their dedication to conservation all across elk country.
RMEF grants will help fund the following 2013 projects, listed by county and city:
Carson City—Provide sponsorship for the fourth annual Tom Brooks Memorial Youth Fishing Day—a free event that teaches boys and girls about fishing and includes a SAFE (Shooting Access for Everyone) Challenge inflatable target range manned by RMEF volunteers (also affects Douglas, Lyon, Storey and Washoe counties); and host a SAFE Challenge event at the Western Nevada Calf Camp for 50 youth manned by RMEF volunteers.
Elko County—Remove and replace 2.5 miles of an old woven sheep fence on private land with a wildlife-friendly 3-strand fence to reduce the hazard to the 370 elk that summer on Ninemile Mountain and the Knoll Creek Mountain Range.
Humboldt County—Provide funding for improvements to the Humboldt County Shooting Park Firearms Range used by 350+ new hunter education graduates and hundreds of other hunters and sport shooters of all ages each year.
Nye County—Burn 870 acres followed by aerial seeding within a 18,000-acre project area on Bureau of Land Management lands to reduce pinyon-juniper encroachment and increase the growth of grasses, forbs and shrubs for Butler Basin elk as well as to reduce the risk of future catastrophic wildfire; and provide funding and volunteer manpower to install a guzzler comprised of two 1,800 gallon wildlife drink tanks.
Washoe County—Provide sponsorship of the three-day Maison T. Ortiz Youth Outdoor Skills Camp dedicated to teaching youth outdoor skills including safety, hunter education, shooting, archery, map reading, fishing, basic survival, first aid, laser safe shot and fly tying skills.
White Pine County—Maintain mountain brush and sagebrush habitat on 150 acres within the southern portion of the White Pine Range or on Ward Mountain in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest by removing encroaching pinyon and juniper trees to enhance habitat for elk, mule deer, sage grouse and other species.
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 Nevada include the Nevada Department of Wildlife, Bureau of Land Management, Humbolt-Toiyabe National Forest and various sportsmen, wildlife and civic organizations.
Logo courtesy Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation