August 24, 2017
Idaho Grants Fund Research, Habitat Work
MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation awarded $274,556 in grant funding to assist with research, habitat stewardship work and hunting heritage projects across the state of Idaho.
Fourteen projects benefit nearly 17,000 acres of wildlife habitat in Blaine, Bonneville, Camas, Cassia, Clearwater, Elmore, Gooding, Idaho, Latah, Lemhi, Lincoln, Minidoka, Twin Falls and Washington Counties. There is one additional project of statewide benefit.
“Elk need quality habitat to survive and thrive,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “These grant funds go directly toward research and on-the-ground habitat stewardship projects that benefit elk and a wide range of other wildlife species.”
RMEF volunteers in the state of Idaho generated the funding by hosting banquets, membership drives and other events.
Since 1985, RMEF and its partners completed 526 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Idaho with a combine value of more than $65.9 million. These projects conserved and enhanced 470,847 acres of habitat and opened or secured public access to 24,817 acres.
Here is a sampling of the 2017 projects, listed by county:
Blaine County—Plant 13,000 antelope bitterbrush and 112,000 Wyoming big sagebrush seedlings across 8,506 acres that burned in the 2016 Laidlaw Wildfire in Craters of the Moon National Monument as part of a three-year plan to restore sagebrush steppe habitat impacted by the wildfire (also benefits Minidoka County).
Clearwater County—Provide Torstenson Family Endowment (TFE) funding in support of extensive landscape restoration of early-seral habitat to meet ecosystem goals and services, including the restoration of healthy elk habitats and populations in the Clearwater Basin of north-central Idaho where elk populations have declined (also benefits Idaho County); and provide TFE funding for continuing elk habitat use and nutrition status research in the Clearwater Basin as a precursor to large-scale habitat restoration efforts (also benefits Idaho County).
Elmore County—Provide funding to assist with collaring 30 elk in southern Idaho to determine the effectiveness of various management techniques employed to reduce elk agricultural crop depredation (also benefits Blaine, Camas, Gooding, Lincoln, and Washington Counties).
Go here for a complete project listing.
Idaho project partners include the Caribou-Targhee, Clearwater, Salmon-Challis and Sawtooth National Forests, Bureau of Land Management, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and private landowners as well as sportsmen, government, civic and other organizations.
RMEF uses TFE funding solely to further its core mission programs of permanent land protection, habitat stewardship, elk restoration and hunting heritage.