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

Monday, October 14, 2013

Seniors to Teens, Volunteers Spice up Oregon Elk Country

What generation gap? From teenagers to retirees, all spurred on by their commonly shared love of elk, the volunteers recently gathered in the heart of Oregon elk country. Members of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s Willamette Valley, South Coast and Yamhill County Chapters worked side-by-side with members of the Tioga Chapter of the Oregon Hunters Association.

The gathering place was near a small town named, fittingly enough, Elkton in the west-central part of the state which is home to an elk population estimated at some 7,000 animals. The goal was to spice up downtrodden elk habitat on old logging roads decommissioned by the Bureau of Land Management. The 16 volunteers spent five hours pulling noxious weeds, seeding native grasses and forbs, fertilizing and applying mulch on approximately two miles of roads in the Lutsinger Creek area, a unit that supports a large number of elk hunting tags but also contains strong populations of grouse, turkey, black bear and black-tailed deer. The project will assist all of those species and take a positive step toward improving habitat for an elk population that is currently below objective.

“This was a unique situation where a 2012 seeding had failed, and volunteers came together to make sure this restoration was completed,” said Steve Langenstein, BLM wildlife biologist. “Materials for the project were provided by both BLM and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife habitat restoration funds.”

Kati McCrea, statewide RMEF project coordinator, echoed those comments saying the group cooperated in such a way that this was one of the best gatherings for a volunteer project she saw this year. South Coast Chapter Chair Kirby Boyd put the project volunteers together.

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