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

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Idaho Elk Habitat, Research, Wolf Management Benefit from RMEF Grants

Below is a complete listing of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s 2015 grants for the state of Idaho. Find more information here.

Ada County—Provide funding to complete the final .23 miles of wildlife exclusion fence that will safely funnel big game species from upland areas to an underpass where they can safely cross beneath State Highway 21, reducing the risk and number of collisions on this section of the highway on the Boise River Wildlife Management Area.

Bear Lake County—Replace 5,800 feet of dilapidated boundary fence on the Georgetown Wildlife Management Area with wildlife friendly let-down fence to keep out cattle from neighboring livestock operations; and apply herbicide treatment to 577 acres of scattered, backcountry noxious weed infestations on crucial big game winter range in the Montpelier Ranger District on the Targhee National Forest (also benefits Caribou, Bonneville and Franklin Counties).

Boise County—Provide funding and RMEF volunteer manpower to host a SAFE Challenge event at the Boise Sports Show to educate youth about proper gun handling and safety.

Bonneville County—Burn approximately 600 acres and mechanically slash 200 acres on the Targhee National Forest as part of a larger 6,900-acre project to remove encroaching conifers from aspen stands in important habitat for elk calving and mule deer fawning on the Teton Ranger District (also benefits Teton County); and apply prescribed burning and follow-up noxious weed treatments on 1,462 acres of Fall and Bear Creeks eight miles southwest of Swan Valley in the Caribou National Forest to improve aspen habitat.

Boundary County—Prescribe burn up to 1,000 acres in the Deer Creek drainage (a tributary of the Moyie River) as part of a multi-year burn project aimed at improving wildlife habitat and reducing the risk of future catastrophic in the southern portion of the Purcell Mountains on the Idaho Panhandle National Forest.

Camas County—Treat 300 acres of weed infestations scattered across the Fairfield and Ketchum Ranger Districts on the Sawtooth National Forest by focusing on elk winter range areas burned by wildfires in 2007, 2008 and 2013 (also benefits Blaine and Elmore Counties).

Clearwater County—Provide Torstenson Family Endowment (TFE) funds for the third year of research to implement a monitoring program for elk in the Clearwater Basin. Initial work will include establishing a land use habitat matrix for the Basin to be used as the foundation for management and monitoring of elk, applying the new Oregon-Washington elk nutrition and habitat models, and capturing and collaring wild elk for subsequent monitoring which will help managers decide where habitat treatments need to be made and also develop a prioritization for future work (also affects Idaho County); and provide funding for the Clearwater Basin Collaborative, a citizen-led partnership with federal, state, private and tribal collaborators, which is proposing extensive landscape restoration of early-seral habitat to meet ecosystem goals and services, including the restoration of healthy elk habitats and populations (also benefits Idaho County).

Idaho County—Burn approximately 10,000 acres of elk crucial winter and summer range in the Clearwater Basin on the Clearwater and Nez Perce National Forests as part of an ongoing effort to improve elk habitat using prescribed fire (also benefits Clearwater County).

Owyhee County—Slash and girdle juniper on 1,537 acres in the Pole Creek area on Bureau of Land Management land in preparation for future prescribed burning to restore and maintain shrub steppe and aspen communities to benefit elk and other wildlife.

Twin Falls County—Used TFE funding to award an elk education trunk to Kimberly Elementary School in Kimberly.

Statewide—Provide $50,000 to assist Idaho’s wolf management plan. The funding goes toward hiring a wolf tracking expert to assist in locating non-documented wolf packs as well as documenting mid-winter pack composition through aerial tracking and remote camera work; and provide funding for the Idaho Sportsmen's Caucus Advisory Council – an association of approximately 30 hunting, fishing and trapping organizations from throughout Idaho that reviews issues in the Idaho Legislature, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game Commission and the Department of Fish and Game, among other agencies, regarding significant issues such as Chronic Wasting Disease, game farms, habitat issues, fishing and hunting access and big game tag availability.

Partners for the Idaho projects include the Caribou-Targhee, Idaho Panhandle, Nez Perce-Clearwater and Sawtooth National Forests, Bureau of Land Management, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and various other tribal, civic and government organizations.

TFE funding is only used to further RMEF’s core mission programs of permanent land protection, habitat stewardship, elk restoration and hunting heritage.

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