As elk populations increased and expanded, habitat managers and elk conservationists recognized the need to determine elk distribution and population characteristics in the two states. Due to a tragic helicopter crash in the past, CDFW biologists could not complete aerial surveys in recent years which left the two agencies without the information needed to ensure that limited habitat improvement dollars are being spent in the areas most important for elk. RMEF recognized the importance of the data gap and funded the USFS and BLM to conduct aerial surveys to augment data collected in the early 1990’s.
“Different phases of the project held challenges unfamiliar to many of the staff. The development of the interagency helicopter safety plans required a phenomenal amount of logistics. While multiple relationships existed prior to the survey, RMEF was the glue to help implement the project,” as stated in the award documentation.
Blake Henning (below), vice president of Lands and Conservation, accepted the award in behalf of RMEF volunteers and staff in California.
|Rob Harper (USFS), Chief Tom Tidwell (USFS), Tim Bowden (BLM), Blake Henning (RMEF), Greg Schroer (USFS), |
Brian Ferebee (USFS), and Steve Small (BLM)
(left to right)