Tempered fire on a landscape burns off dead downfall and rejuvenates the soil, triggering the growth of beneficial early seral habitat for elk, deer and other wildlife.
But white-hot wildfire can be catastrophic for forests – destroying root systems that cause erosion, decimating tree stands and water quality, and opening the door for the proliferation of noxious or invasive plants.
In 2022, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation committed one million dollars toward wildfire restoration across the West.
In 2023, RMEF increased that commitment to $1.6 million dollars which leveraged $6.4 million more from its conservation partners.
Looking back, RMEF awarded 42 wildfire restoration grants to 10 states from 2021 through 2023.
Looking ahead, RMEF hopes to award even more grants.
This funding supports many types of active forest management and other habitat enhancement projects.
Among them are planting native grasses and shrubs, aspen restoration, conifer thinning, invasive weed treatment, repairing or building new wildlife water sources, riparian restoration, and removing old fencing or replacing it with new fencing that supports wildlife movement and migration corridors.
And you can find RMEF volunteers helping with some of these projects.
To learn more about RMEF’s wildfire restoration work, go to rmef.org/wildfire.
Restoring elk country is fundamental to RMEF’s mission of ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.
Since 1984, RMEF helped conserve or enhance more than 8.8 million acres of wildlife habitat.