December 27, 2011
RMEF to Fund Conservation Projects in California
MISSOULA, Mont.—Improving forage quality and quantity for elk and other wildlife is the main theme in a list of California conservation projects earning 2011 grants from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
Also in line for RMEF funding are numerous projects to introduce and engage California youths in traditional outdoor recreation and conservation.
The RMEF grants total $238,150 and directly affect Del Norte, Humboldt, Kern, Lassen, Merced, Modoc, Monterey, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Luis Obispo, Shasta, Siskiyou, Solano, Tehama, Trinity and Tuolumne counties.
Several additional projects have statewide interest.
“Habitat management techniques like prescribe burning and noxious weed treatments will improve grasslands for grazing elk, while forest thinning and juniper removal will restore meadows and aspen stands that have been choked out over time,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO.
Allen added, “All together, the habitat improvement projects that RMEF is funding this year could add at least 3,736 acres to the 105,543 acres that we’ve previously helped to conserve or enhance for wildlife in California.”
Nationally, RMEF recently reached the 6 million-acre mark in lands conserved or enhanced for elk and other wildlife. Allen thanked RMEF volunteers and fundraiser attendees in California for helping the organization reach a major conservation milestone.
RMEF grants will help fund the following 2011 projects, listed by county:
Humboldt County—Prescribe burn 60 acres to remove encroaching conifers, rejuvenate understory vegetation and improve forage for elk, black-tailed deer, black bear and other wildlife in the Lack’s Creek area of BLM lands; use at-risk youth interns to thin conifers from Hidden Valley Prairie area of BLM lands; survey elk populations to establish hunting guidelines on Green Diamond property (also affects Del Norte County).
Kern County—Provide sponsorship for Kent and San Bernardino Five-Star Junior Series Shoot to promote shooting sports and conservation.
Lassen County—Remove junipers encroaching into an 11-acre aspen stand and build livestock exclosure fencing on BLM lands; provide sponsorship for Susanville 2011 Youth Spike Camp to introduce students to traditional outdoor recreation and conservation.
Merced County—Provide funding for educational elk displays at the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge Visitor’s Center.
Modoc County—Prescribe burn 1,000 acres to improve habitat quality in the Crowder Block area of Modoc National Forest.
Monterey County—Improve forage for elk by prescribe burning and treating noxious weeds on 1,145 acres at Fort Hunter Liggett; install a 1,200-gallon guzzler as a wildlife drinking station in Hunt Area 10 at Fort Hunter Liggett; provide sponsorship for Fort Hunter Liggett 2011 Kids Trout Derby to introduce students to traditional outdoor recreation and conservation; sponsor Fort Hunter Liggett 2011 Wounded Warrior Hunt.
Placer County—Provide sponsorship for Woodcreek High School Sportsmen’s Club 2011 Trap Team to introduce youth to shooting sports, hunting and conservation; sponsor Roseville High School Sportsmen’s Club (also affects Sacramento County).
Plumas County—Remove conifers encroaching into 275 acres of elk foraging areas in the Beckworth Ranger District of the Plumas National Forest; provide sponsorship for the Quincy Sport Shooting Association Junior Trap Team to raise awareness of conservation.
San Luis Obispo County—Provide sponsorship for Chimineas Ranch 2011 Junior Elk Hunt to introduce Los Angeles-area youths and families to hunting and conservation.
Shasta County—Remove encroaching conifer to restore meadows and aspen stands used by elk and other wildlife in the Burney Gardens area of Shasta-Trinity National Forest; restore 1,000 feet of stream channels to improve water sources in the Harlow Meadows area; provide sponsorship for the Anderson Union High School 2011 Trap Club to introduce youths to traditional outdoor sports and conservation.
Siskiyou County—Provide sponsorship for training materials used for hunter education training by the Butte Valley Rifle Association and Siskiyou County Fish and Game Commission; in partnership with the California Department of Fish and Game, research distribution, movements and habitat use by elk in the Klamath Mountains of Klamath National Forest (also affects Del Norte County).
Solano County—In partnership with the California Department of Fish and Game, research elk survival and distribution patterns by tracking up to 21 radio-collared elk at Grizzly Island Wildlife Area; assist California Department of Fish and Game in constructing a station for hunt orientations, game processing, etc., at Grizzly Island Wildlife Area.
Statewide—Provide sponsorship for the California Legislature Outdoor Sporting Caucus 9th Annual Legislative Trap Shoot to promote shooting sports, hunting and conservation; sponsor the California Outdoor Heritage Alliance to promote science-based wildlife management and hunting rights; sponsor California Waterfowl Association 2011 Youth Hunter Camps; sponsor Youth Shooting Sports Association 2011 U.S. Open Trap and Skeet Championship; sponsor California Council of Land Trusts for 2012.
Tehama County—Provide sponsorship for Rolling Hills Casino 7th Annual PBR Touring Pro Division Sporting Clay Shoot to build awareness of conservation (also affects Shasta County).
Trinity County—Provide sponsorship for RMEF Trinity Chapter 2012 Hunter Safety Class to introduce youths to safe outdoor recreation and conservation.
Tuolumne County—Provide sponsorship for Mother Lode Gun Club Junior Trap Team to promote awareness of conservation; sponsor Sonora High School 2011-2012 Trap Club.
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 2011 projects in California include Bureau of Land Management (BLM), California Department of Fish and Game, Fort Hunter Liggett Military Reservation, U.S. Forest Service and other organizations.
Since 1984, RMEF and its partners have completed 432 different conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in California with a combined value of more than $45.6 million.