The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service employees in four states—Idaho, Montana, New Mexico and Wyoming—have earned recognition for standout work to enhance and conserve habitat for elk and other wildlife.
Each has received a special award from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and their respective agency for conservation efforts in partnership with RMEF.
“These awards are meant to give a pat on the back and a thank-you to some of the finest professionals anywhere in wildlife conservation,” said Blake Henning, vice president of lands and conservation for RMEF. “Together, the BLM, U.S. Forest Service and RMEF are making a real difference in elk country.”
RMEF works with many partners, none more prominent than BLM and the U.S. Forest Service. Lands owned or managed by these federal agencies provide habitat for most elk in the U.S., as well as the most opportunities for elk hunters and other recreationists.
The awards were presented during the annual RMEF convention, called Elk Camp, which ended Feb. 4 in Las Vegas.
RMEF/BLM Elk Conservation Awards
Partnership Coordination Award
Idaho—Christine Shaver, Idaho BLM office. Shavers was honored for standout national leadership in managing and coordinating grants for habitat stewardship. She oversaw funding and stewardship agreements involving 14 BLM offices in Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon and Wyoming. Through her work, a total of 5,600 acres were enhanced for elk and other wildlife.
Habitat Enhancement Award
New Mexico—BLM Taos Field Office. This entire staff was recognized for outstanding contributions to habitat enhancement in New Mexico. Active with RMEF since 1988, projects have included native seed planting on 1,348 acres in the Ute Mountain area, aspen restoration on the Taos Plateau, Buffalo Pinon water development and many others to benefit elk and other wildlife.
Individual Achievement Award
Wyoming—Jack Mononi, BLM Cody Field Office. Mononi, a range conservationist, was recognized for his achievements in partnership with the RMEF since 1993. He has submitted 30 successful grant proposals over the last 18 years to enhance a combined 20,112 acres of Wyoming elk country. Many of these projects were prescribe burns, noxious weed treatments and water developments.
RMEF/U.S. Forest Service Elk Country Awards
Elk Country Award
Montana—Jane Ingebretson, Swan Lake Ranger District, Flathead National Forest. A wildlife biologist, Ingebretson was recognized for her work in partnership with RMEF since 1995. She has submitted 19 projects, mostly prescribe burns, for RMEF funding. She also has overseen completion of those projects totaling more than 3,500 acres. An additional 1,000 acres in habitat stewardship are expected for completion in 2012.
About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
RMEF is leading a conservation initiative that has protected or enhanced habitat on over 6 million acres—an area larger than Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Yosemite, Rocky Mountain and Great Smoky Mountains national parks combined. RMEF also is a strong voice for hunters in access, wildlife management and conservation policy issues. RMEF members, partners and volunteers, working together as Team Elk, are making a difference all across elk country. Join us at www.rmef.org  or 800-CALL ELK.