MISSOULA, Mont. — The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and its partners contributed $215,067 in funding for 13 wildlife habitat enhancement, hunting heritage and research projects in Wisconsin. RMEF directly granted $79,794 in funding and leveraged an additional $135,273 in partner dollars.
“Wisconsin has a deep and vibrant hunting tradition. We are grateful to be able to provide this grant funding to assist youth and their families to strengthen that heritage while also enhancing elk habitat,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer.
Wisconsin is home to more than 11,000 RMEF members and 25 chapters.
“The reason this funding is available at all is because of our dedicated volunteers who host fundraising banquets, membership drives and other activities,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “We greatly appreciate their efforts in helping further our mission.”
Since 1990, RMEF and its partners completed 576 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Wisconsin with a combined value of more than $11.7 million. These projects protected or enhanced 9,199 acres of habitat and opened or improved public access to 2,000 acres.
Below are Wisconsin’s 2020 projects, listed by county.
- Provide funding for researchers to use elk telemetry data and new vegetation sampling to evaluate the use and habitat quality of managed forest openings relative to other forest types in the area (also benefits Bayfield, Jackson, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor and Washburn Counties).
- Provide funding for the Thorp Cardinal Archery Club to take part in the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) for students in grades 4-12 (also benefits Chippewa and Taylor Counties).
- Mow, add soil amendments and re-seed approximately 80 acres of forage openings on the Jackson County Forest. Periodic maintenance of these established openings helps keep elk on public lands and ensures long-term success of the Black River Falls elk herd.
- Provide funding to assist with habitat improvement projects by taking part in Wisconsin’s Adopt a Fish or Wildlife Area program. RMEF adopted the 5,000-acre Dike 17 Wildlife Area that provides key habitat for the elk herd in the Black River Falls area.
- Provide funding for the Eau Pleine Outdoors Club to support more than 60 girls and boys to take part in NASP activities for Stratford area schools.
- Provide funding for the Saint Patrick Catholic School’s NASP squad as part of the PE curriculum as well as an afterschool activity.
- Provide funding for the Oneida County Sheriff’s Department to offer its annual hunter safety class.
- Provide funding for the Clayton School District Trap League at the Richardson Sportsmen Club, which gives youth grades 6-12 an opportunity to safely experience organized, competitive shooting sports (also benefits Barren County).
- Provide funding for a youth trap league at the Phillips Sportsmen’s Club where shooters have the opportunity to safely take part in shotgun competitions.
- Provide funding for the S.E.a.L Shooting Team made up of 50 participants in grades 4-12 from Chequamegon and Phillips School Districts that participate in the Scholastic Clay Target Program (also benefits Ashland County).
- Provide funding to purchase 3D animal targets used by clubs and schools participating in the state’s growing Scholastic 3D Archery Program.
- Provide support for the interactive elk information kiosk in Clam Lake.
- Provide funding for youth hunts hosted by Tin Star Outdoors, an organization that provides youth who lost a parent in the line of duty an opportunity to take part in a hunt.
Project partners include the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin and an array of sportsmen and other organizations.
About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Founded more than 36 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of nearly 235,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 8 million acres for elk and other wildlife. RMEF also works to open and improve public access, fund and advocate for science-based resource management, and ensure the future of America’s hunting heritage. Discover why “Hunting Is Conservation™” at rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.