To put it simply, elk and other wildlife cannot thrive without abundant, quality habitat, or in other words, without food, water, shelter and space to roam.
Restoring and enhancing elk habitat is a key day-to-day focus for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and 2019 proved to be no different.
RMEF and its partners carried out conservation projects that enhanced a single-year record 404,164 acres of elk habitat across 23 different states home to wild, free-ranging elk.
That acreage number is equivalent to 632 square miles or the size of 306,185 football fields.
Specific projects ranged from prescribed burning in Oklahoma to reclaiming former Pennsylvania mine lands into prime vegetation to creating dependable wildlife water sources in South Dakota and continuing landscape treatments in Colorado by thinning and removing conifers that choke out much-needed forage.
The result is improved habitat the benefits, elk, deer, black bears, mountain lions and many other game and non-game species including birds, reptiles, fish and even various types of plants.
Restoring elk country is core to RMEF’s Managed Lands Initiative.
Since 1984, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and its partners completed more than 12,400 conservation and hunting heritage projects that protected or enhanced more than 7.9 million acres of wildlife habitat.