So far in 2012, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has allocated $1,258,888 for habitat stewardship and protection projects in six key elk states. The figure represents a significant increase from 2011.
More than 139,000 acres should be conserved for elk and other wildlife in 2012 as a result of these initial allocations.
Affected states include Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming.
RMEF will announce funding allocations for additional states later this year.
The combined allocation for the initial six states is $181,562, or 16 percent, higher than their total from 2011. The increase is based on a strong upward trend in banquet-based memberships and fundraising performance by RMEF chapters and volunteers in the respective states.
“Thanks to RMEF volunteers and supporters and a wave of momentum, our organization is positioned to pump more money than ever into crucial habitat work in six major areas of elk country,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO.
Allocated amounts and acres expected to be conserved in 2012:
Colorado—$251,451 and 42,030 acres
Idaho—$82,710 and 31,984 acres
Montana—$257,011 and 21,658 acres
Oregon—$165,000 and 11,483 acres
Washington—$184,460 and 10,454 acres
Wyoming—$318,256 and 21,555 acres
Combined, 112 different conservation projects will receive RMEF funding.
Projects are selected for RMEF grants using science-based criteria and a committee of RMEF volunteers and staff along with representatives from partnering agencies and universities. Examples of projects include habitat stewardship such as prescribed burning, forest thinning and management, weed control, water improvements and more, mostly on public lands. Also included are research projects to improve management of elk, habitat, predators and other factors that influence conservation.
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.