October 27, 2009
Elk Foundation Funding Tops $190K for Michigan Initiative
MISSOULA, Mont.—New grants from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation will fund conservation and education projects in eight Michigan counties, and swell total RMEF support for the state’s Pigeon River Habitat Initiative to more than $190,000.
The 2009 RMEF grants will affect Cheboygan, Delta, Montmorency, Muskegon, Oakland, Otsego, Ottawa and Presque Isle counties.
“Our volunteers in Michigan devoted themselves to 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 all of our supporters who are passionate about giving something back to the outdoors,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO.
RMEF has been a major supporter of the Pigeon River Habitat Initiative in each of the past four years and in 2003. Contributions have helped secure conservation easements, develop forest stewardship management plans, provide technical assistance for landowners, offer cost-share programs to help with wildlife plantings, and more.
Collectively, these efforts have impacted hundreds of acres for elk and other wildlife.
“RMEF has been a great partner and supporter for this project. There is no way we could accomplish the goals of this project without partners such as RMEF. Funding from RMEF also helps us leverage additional funding for conservation efforts in Pigeon River country,” said Eric Nelson, habitat specialist for Huron Pines, which manages the Pigeon River Habitat Initiative.
Elk Foundation 2009 grants for Michigan, totaling $19,544, will help fund the following projects, listed by county:
Delta County—Sponsor the Delta Youth Archery Initiative to introduce young people to archery instruction, equipment, competition, safety, sportsmanship, ethics and leadership.
Montmorency County—Renovate an elk display with a new life-sized mount of a bull elk to be used for educational purposes by the City of Atlanta, “Elk Capital of Michigan.”
Oakland County—Sponsor the Sherman Middle School National Archery in the Schools Program to introduce youth to archery in a school environment.
Otsego County—Promote long-term land protection, improve habitat for wildlife, discourage invasive species and develop sustainable forestry management as part of the Pigeon River Habitat Initiative (also affects Cheboygan, Montmorency and Presque Isle counties).
Ottawa County—Sponsor the Ottawa County 2009 Youth Hunter Safety program (also affects Muskegon County).
Partners for 2009 projects in Michigan include Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Huron Pines, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, other agencies, schools and organizations.
Since 1984, the Elk Foundation and its partners have completed more than 80 conservation projects in Michigan with a value of more than $4.6 million.