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

Friday, May 6, 2016

RMEF Grants Benefit Utah Wildlife Habitat, Research Project

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

Beaver County—Install new large capacity big game guzzler on the west slope of the Mountain Home Range near Miller Mountain.

Box Elder County—Provide funding for a series of conservation easements on private land to permanently protect and conserve more than 5,800 acres of elk, deer, black bear and sage grouse habitat; and mechanically shred juniper on 705 acres of winter range habitat five miles southeast of Grouse Creek on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands.

Cache County— Treat up to 6,937 acres of juniper encroachment into crucial elk winter
range within the Spawn Creek, Mud Flat and Temple Fork areas near Logan Canyon on the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest.

Carbon County—Clear approximately 3,590 acres of encroaching pinyon and juniper on crucial deer and elk winter range four miles southwest of Price; reduce the density of heavy fuels and encourage aspen regeneration to improve wildlife habitat on 189 acres within the Beaver Creek drainage; improve crucial elk, mule deer and sage grouse habitat by bull-hogging 1,050 acres and having chainsaw crews lop and scatter an additional 1,010 acres approximately 40 miles northeast of Price; remove conifers from 125 acres within aspen stands to improve forage conditions for big game, turkey and forest grouse on the Cold Springs Wildlife Management Area; and thin pinyon and juniper, and apply seed to restore sagebrush communities on 480 acres across a broad watershed approximately 10 miles southwest of Price.

Daggett County—Remove encroaching pinyon and juniper from approximately 1,251 acres of sagebrush habitat on BLM lands near Three Corners to benefit elk and deer habitat; and provide funding for Boy Scouts to replace two non-functioning big game guzzlers damaged in wildfires.

Duchesne County—Cut dying aspen stands and use soil disturbance to encourage aspen sprouting on 41 high priority acres while also constructing fences to protect the regeneration from browsing remove pinyon and juniper from 760 acres of crucial winter and summer range for elk and mule deer with a bullhog machine on the Horse Ridge Wildlife Management Area; and improve 468 acres of elk, deer, and sage grouse winter range through removal of encroaching pinyon and juniper on BLM and State SITLA (School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration) lands southwest of Myton.

Garfield County—Improve 1,506 acres of greater sage grouse, mule deer and elk winter habitat by chaining a combination of previously burned treatment areas as well as installing two 1,500-gallon water guzzler systems on BLM lands near Antimony; improve 4,400 acres of year-round elk, pronghorn, sage grouse and mule deer winter range on BLM lands near Hatch by mulching, hand thinning, and seeding areas of pinyon-juniper encroachment; and reduce pinyon and juniper encroachment on 2,215 acres by lop and scatter and mechanical removal methods to enhance shrub-steppe habitat on the Hatch Bench five miles southeast of Hatch in crucial mule deer summer range, substantial elk winter range and crucial sage grouse brood-rearing habitat.

Grand County—Remove pinyon and juniper from 230 acres by hand crew lop and scatter and 322 additional acres with a bullhog on big game winter range on BLM lands in the Book Cliffs about 12 miles from the Colorado-Utah border; and fix and upgrade three springs and one guzzler in the Book Cliffs Divide area.

Iron County—Remove pinyon and juniper from 7,000 acres of sagebrush community on BLM-managed lands within crucial habitat beneficial for elk, deer, sage grouse and other wildlife in the Hamlin Valley.

Juab County—Bullhog 300 acres of previously chained pinyon and juniper woodlands on the Triangle Ranch Wildlife Management Area two miles southeast of Nephi.

Kane County—Replant trees on 500 acres that experienced high wildfire severity and complete loss of forest cover on the Dixie National Forest; implement pinion-juniper bullhog treatment of 1,625 acres of summer range habitat on the Glendale Bench on BLM lands; improve 1,100 acres of habitat south of Alton via seeding on private and BLM-managed lands; expand an existing water catchment by 5,000 square feet, add a 20,000-gallon water tank and a wildlife drinker 18 miles northeast of Kanab; and construct lids for three large water storage tanks on winter range 18 to 30 miles east of Kanab.

Millard County—Lop and scatter small to medium trees on 706 acres within a previous treatment area and install several water troughs and a pipeline providing additional water for wildlife and livestock year-round on the Oak Creek Wildlife Management Unit and improve more than 621 acres of private land that supports elk, mule deer and wild turkey year round by two-way chaining areas of encroaching pinyon-juniper, and reseeding areas between passes.

Piute County—Enhance 700 acres of deer and elk transition-winter range and prevent the spread of pinyon-juniper into the Hell's Hole Greater Sage Grouse Area by applying prescribed fire on 700 acres of aspen/mixed conifer/mountain brush communities on the Fishlake National Forest; improve 565 acres of greater sage grouse, mule deer and elk winter habitat by applying pinyon- juniper treatment as well as installing two 1,500-gallon capacity water guzzler systems on BLM lands; clean and remove old debris from an established pond structure while upgrading the ponds to catch water from winter runoff and seasonal rainfall to support wildlife populations and livestock (also affects Wayne County); and remove small and medium-sized junipers encroaching onto the Cedar Grove areas of Parker Mountain on 736 acres of BLM lands with a lop and scatter treatment northeast of Fillmore (also affects Wayne County).

Rich County—Remove juniper stands to improve sagebrush steppe habitat on 1,800 acres in Meachum Canyon on BLM lands.

Salt Lake County— Treat pioneer and established populations of yellow starthistle with ground herbicide application to improve biodiversity, wildlife habitat and protect a critical water supply area 20 miles east of Salt Lake City near Little Dell Reservoir.

San Juan County—Plant sagebrush seedlings on 10 acres of BLM land 65 miles west of Monticello; and continue the thinning of pinyon and juniper encroaching into sagebrush communities via bullhog treatment on the Dark Canyon Plateau on 1,899 acres of BLM lands.

Sanpete County—Use prescribed fire as well as hand, chainsaw and mechanical treatments to remove encroaching confers on 264 acres of habitat as part of a 6,100-acre reduction treatment project area on the Manti National Forest (also affects Emery County); and improve winter range habitat on a combination of private and state land, totaling 764 acres, through seeding and bullhog work about five miles north of Ephraim.

Sevier County—Remove pinyon and juniper within the Boobe Hole Cooperative Wildlife Management Unit from sagebrush communities via lop and scatter hand crew; apply prescribed fire to 3,036 acres on Fishlake National Forest to provide improved wildlife habitat, structural diversity, aspen regeneration and hazardous fuel reduction; clean and remove old debris within an established pond structure which will be upgraded to catch water from winter runoff and seasonal rainfall to support wildlife and livestock on the Fishlake-Plateau Wildlife Management Unit; and provide volunteer manpower as part of the 2015 Utah Summer Rendezvous to assist the Fishlake National Forest to replace a worn out, nonfunctioning guzzler with a new tank, apron and livestock exclosure fence.

Summit County—Perform mechanical treatments on 5,550 acres on the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest as part of 11 different timber sales in the project area.

Unitah County—Remove pinyon and juniper and re-seed 620 acres of mule deer and elk habitat on BLM lands on the east side of the Book Cliffs; remove pinyon-juniper from 319 acres of BLM lands in the Book Cliffs on Indian Spring Ridge to improve habitat values; and install a new wildlife guzzler on Utah Division of Wildlife Resource’s Chipeta Canyon property in the southern Book Cliffs.

Utah County—Improve 550 acres of big game winter/transitional range on private lands in Spanish Fork Canyon by removing juniper regrowth and treating invasive weeds.

Wasatch County—Enhance 245 acres of aspen stands heavily encroached by conifers on the Horse Ridge Wildlife Management Area (also affects Duchesne County).

Wayne County—Replace old netting and posts with new at the Jakes Knoll pronghorn trap site on the Parker Mountain Unit.

Statewide—Provide funding for GPS radio collars to be placed on elk in central Utah to better understand the movements of elk and better facilitate management decisions; provide funding from the Torstenson Family Endowment (TFE) to donate 1,500 RMEF youth membership knives to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources for its hunter education classes; provide funding support for two wildlife biologists to implement NRCS farm bill programs (Sage Grouse Initiative); provide funding to place GPS collars on mule deer throughout seven units in the state to track migration routes, see how much time is spent in habitat treatment units and monitor the relationship between habitat use and body condition; capture 190 bighorn sheep on Antelope Island to thin densities and for translocation to seven different areas within Utah; and provide funding for research to monitor survival rates of does and fawns on seven different wildlife units to better understand the status and trends in the deer population.

Partners for the Utah projects include the Dixie, Fishlake, Manti-La Sal and Uintah-Wasatch-Cache National Forests, Bureau of Land Management, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Utah Department of Natural Resources, private landowners, and various sportsmen, civic and other organizations.

Since 1987, RMEF and its partners completed 498 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Utah with a combined value of more than $61 million. These projects protected or enhanced 1,047,088 acres of habitat and have opened or secured public access to 27,192 acres.

RMEF uses TFE funding solely to further its core mission programs of permanent land protection, habitat stewardship, elk restoration and hunting heritage.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Founded over 30 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership 220,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 6.8 million acres for elk and other wildlife. RMEF also works to open and improve public access, fund and advocate for science-based resource management, and ensure the future of America’s hunting heritage. Discover why “Hunting Is Conservation™” at www.rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK. Take action: join and/or donate.

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