July 10, 2009
Elk Foundation Grants to Benefit 15 Wyoming Counties
MISSOULA, Mont.—Fifteen counties in Wyoming are slated for wildlife habitat conservation projects using $352,547 in new grants from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
The 2009 RMEF grants will affect Albany, Bighorn, Carbon, Converse, Laramie, Lincoln, Natrona, Park, Sheridan, Sublette, Sweetwater, Teton, Uinta, Washakie and Weston counties.
Additional projects have statewide interest.
“Our volunteers across Wyoming helped drive the 2008 fundraisers that made these grants possible. This is where Elk Foundation banquets, auctions and other events transform into on-the-ground conservation work, and it’s part of the payday for supporters who are passionate about giving something back to the outdoors,” said David Allen, Elk Foundation president and CEO.
Elk Foundation grants will help fund the following Wyoming projects, listed by county:
Bighorn County—Prescribe burn 300 acres of juniper and mountain sagebrush to improve forage for elk, bighorn sheep, mule deer, sage grouse and antelope in BLM Devil’s Canyon area.
Carbon County—Continue efforts to secure 1,561-acre conservation easement on a private ranch containing elk habitat surrounded by subdivision and energy developments; prescribe burn 2,775 acres to improve elk winter range in Medicine Bow National Forest Big Sandstone area; thin and prescribe burn to improve habitat in Sierra Madre/Little Snake River area of Medicine Bow National Forest; clean ditches and install 1,500 feet of pipeline to improve and expand irrigation and forage on elk winter range at Pennock Mountain Wildlife Management Area; install wildlife friendly fencing and water troughs at two springs to improve use by livestock and elk in BLM Romios Spring area.
Converse County—Using prescribed fire, restore grasses, forbs, aspen and water availability for elk and other wildlife on the North Laramie Range (also affects Albany, Natrona and Converse counties); sponsored deer/antelope hunts with Paralyzed Veterans of America; sponsored Wyoming State 4-H Shooting Sports Competition for about 500 youths competing in pistol, rifle, archery, muzzleloader and shotgun skills.
Laramie County—Install three fence-exclosures around spring water sources to restore riparian areas for elk along BLM North Crow Creek area.
Lincoln County—Utilize biological and chemical control mechanisms, control weed infestations to enhance forage for elk in Bridger-Teton National Forest.
Natrona County—Thin and prescribe burn encroaching conifer and sagebrush to improve aspen communities and forage for elk in Bates Creek watershed; remove overgrown conifer on 215 acres of curl leaf mahogany habitat in BLM Lost Creek area.
Park County—Support research project to study elk migration timing and routes in relationship to private lands, and study habitat use by elk and wolves in Absaroka Mountains.
Sheridan County—Thin 200 acres of encroaching forest to improve elk habitat in Bighorn National Forest; install weed-catchers to enhance structural support for beaver dams, which will restore stream morphology and riparian meadows along Big Willow Creek in Bighorn National Forest.
Sublette County—As part of a continuing stewardship project, thin overgrown forest to restore aspen and grasslands habitat for elk and other wildlife on privately owned, publicly accessibly timberlands.
Statewide—Sponsor Hunting and Fishing Heritage Expo, firearms handling and shooting clinics for youth and women, and Access Yes programs with Wyoming Game and Fish Department; newspaper advertising across Wyoming to celebrate RMEF achievements in conjunction with National Hunting and Fishing Day; radio advertising to build public awareness of RMEF achievements.
Sweetwater County—Develop water source with solar power to ensure water for livestock, elk and other wildlife on BLM lands.
Teton County—Prescribe burn 3,264 acres of elk winter and transition range to improve forage and aspen along Lower Gros Ventre area in Bridger-Teton National Forest; provide funding for “Don’t Poach the Powder” campaign to help protect elk winter range near Jackson Hole (also affects Lincoln County); sponsored Great Elk Tour at Jackson Hole ElkFest.
Uinta County—Prescribe burn 455 acres of conifer slash to open habitat for aspen and grasslands habitat preferred by elk in Wasatch National Forest.
Washakie County—Thin 800 acres of juniper encroachment and restore sagebrush and grassland on elk winter range in BLM Rome Hill area.
Weston County—Seed 100 acres of native grass in a cleared, aspen regeneration project area for elk and other wildlife in Parmlee Canyon.
Partners for 2009 projects in Wyoming include Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, other agencies, corporations, landowners and organizations.
Since 1984, the Elk Foundation and its partners have completed more than 380 conservation projects in Wyoming with a value of more than $36.3 million.