Research shows central Utah’s Monroe Mountain in Fishlake National Forest is a mere shadow of its glorious aspen-filled past.
Soil surveys indicate 60 to 70 percent of the historic aspen are gone because of fire suppression, the invasion of conifers, drought and other factors.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation joined forces with 15 other stakeholder groups, headed up by the U.S. Forest Service, to do something about it.
Beginning in 2016, RMEF provided more than $133,000 which leveraged partner funding topping $6 million.
That pot of funding allows land managers to treat upwards of 50,000 acres across the entire Monroe Mountain landscape to rejuvenate aspen, forbs and grasses that provide vital wildlife habitat.
In 2019 alone, crews carried out a combination of prescribed burning, conifer removal, forest thinning and some seeding across approximately 7,000 acres, with more work on tap in 2020.
These efforts will have long-lasting, species-sustaining benefits for elk, deer, small game, birds and insects as well as improving overall forest health. 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.