Ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Coming Together to Help Elk in Colorado

James Mark Jones State Wildlife Area
Helping elk, improving elk habitat and celebrating elk country—that’s how 83 volunteers, members and donors of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) recently spent two days in Colorado’s high country at Lake George.

Among the highlights was a project tour of the James Mark Jones State Wildlife Area, formerly known as Reinecker Ridge, in South Park. RMEF funded a project over the last three years to assist with an aspen regeneration effort on 750 acres of land that included burning slash piles gathered by volunteers, thinning encroaching pine trees, and removing dead aspen trees with a prescribed burn. Thanks to those efforts, there are now approximately 4,000 aspen saplings in the thinning area and around 20,000 aspen saplings in the prescribed burn area.
what up
Slash piles made by RMEF volunteers (left) & area treated by mechanical thinning (right)

Hayman Fire in 2002

Hayman burn area in 2012
A second project tour included a scenic view of a small portion of the Hayman wildfire burn. In 2002, the fire went on a run 35 miles northwest of Colorado Springs and became Colorado’s largest fire. It burned 138,000 acres, forced the evacuation of 5,000 people, destroyed 133 homes and cost $40 million in firefighting costs.

Fence project

Activities at the camp site included an archery range, an electronic pellet shooting range and Sunday morning horse rides. The landowner presented campers with an impromptu work project. A video taken the Friday morning before the gathering showed some elk calves had trouble getting across a fence line so members and volunteers got to work to make a section of the fence more elk friendly.
Thanks to everyone involved for making the 2012 Colorado Rendezvous a success!

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