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


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Clearing the Way for Migrating Elk

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation life member Kevin Leubke came across a most disturbing scene in west-central Montana last summer—a young elk calf that died after getting tangled up in fencing near a popular Block Management Area ranch. He took a photo (on left) and then reached out to RMEF in search of help.

“I realize there are a lot of fences and a lot of elk crisscrossing Montana but this one seems so easy to remedy and in such a high elk traffic/high hunter visibility area that it should be a no-brainer,” Leubke wrote in an email.

RMEF sprang into action by contacting Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP). It turned out that the landowner’s husband had recently passed away and, without him, had trouble keeping up with fencing issues so she appreciated the offer for help. As a result, RMEF volunteers teamed up with 10 FWP wardens to spend part of their Memorial Day weekend on the Craddock Ranch. They removed nearly a mile of old fencing and replace it with wildlife-friendly fencing. RMEF covered the cost of the supplies.

The Craddock Ranch fence project is one of a seven similar efforts planned for 2016 across Montana this spring and summer (see schedule below).

“Our volunteers and members really thrive when they come together for habitat stewardship work projects. They know they’re making a hands-on difference for elk and elk country. It’s really satisfying and it’s a lot of fun too,” said Matthew Ashley, RMEF regional director.

Go here to find out about other RMEF volunteer projects and Rendezvous.



2016 Montana RMEF Chapter Summer Projects:

May 28th- Craddock Ranch BMA Fence Pull and Rebuild (Anaconda)
Greg Harby, Southwest MT Chapter Chair: 406-723-3093 greg.harby@northwestern.com
Joe Kambic, Game Warden: 406-490-1227 JKambic@mt.gov

June 11th – Dome Mountain WMA Fence Pull (Emigrant)
Marcus Lilley, Upper Yellowstone Chapter Chair: mtlilley@gmail.com
Karen Loveless, FWP Wildlife Biologist: 406-333-4211 KLoveless@mt.gov

June 11th- Jenkins Gulch Fence Pull (Townsend)
Joe Cohenour, Elkhorn Chapter Chair: 406-431-1144 joecohenour@gmail.com
Tony Smith, USFS Range Tech, Elkhorn Committee: 406-439-8900 tonysmith06@hotmail.com

TBD June 18th or 25th - Evaro Hill-Butler Creek Fencing Project (Northwest of Missoula)
Project Lead- Bert Lindler: 406-396-0567 blindler@montana.com
Jared Wold. Western MT, Northern ID RMEF RD: 406-370-8352 jwold@rmef.org

June 24th- RMEF Summer Rendezvous Fence Pull (Bozeman)
Craig Freese, Gallatin Chapter Chair: 406-570-9051 jennyluvcraig@aol.com
Matt Ashley, Eastern MT RMEF RD: 406-351-2335 mashley@rmef.org

July 9th- Wall Creek WMA fence pull / RMEF & MTFWP Acquisition Dedication (Cameron)
Kevin Vessey, Vigilante Chapter Chair: 406-580-1843 123kevinv@gmail.com
Mike Mueller, RMEF Land Program Manager: 406-531-8297 mmueller@rme.org
Julie Cunningham, FWP Wildlife Biologist: 406-994-6341 juliecunningham@mt.gov

TBD Fall of 2016- Zekes Meadow Dilapidated Structure Removal (Philipsburg)
Greg Harby, Southwest MT Chapter Chair: 406-723-3093 greg.harby@northwestern.com
Charlene Bucha, District Ranger Pintler Forest: 406-239-4138 cfbucha@fs.fed.us

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