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

Thursday, December 15, 2016

RMEF Grants Benefit Habitat, Hunting Heritage and Research in Minnesota

Below is a listing of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s 2016 grants for the state of Minnesota. Find more information here.

Beltrami County—Provide funding for a hunter education practical walk-through course at the Northland Regional Shooting Sports Park which is a regional shooting sports and firearms safety training and hunter education facility offering family-friendly access for local and regional residents and visitors interested in outdoor firearms activities (also benefits Clearwater, Hubbard and Cass Counties).

Itasca County—Provide Torstenson Family Endowment (TFE) funding to support the Ruffed Grouse Society in initiating a Women's Upland Hunting Course in the Grand Rapids, Minnesota area, with plans to expand into the Superior, Wisconsin area in 2017. The multi-day course gives women interested in hunting upland game and shooting shotguns the opportunity to learn with others that are of similar skill and experience level gun safety, cleaning, and handling skills, as well as introduce them to upland game management, hunting techniques and cooking.

Kittson County—Establish high quality forage plots on 50 acres of state and private lands to draw elk away from agricultural crops and increase acceptance of elk in an effort that also benefits bear, deer, moose, sharp-tailed grouse and sandhill cranes; burn approximately 6,000 acres on state wildlife management area lands within the Tallgrass Aspen Parklands over the next three years to help maintain early succession habitat; fund treatment to remove brush, prescribe burn and protect aspen at 113 sites across 1,000 acres on the Tallgrass Aspen Parklands; and provide funding for the Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge to cut and sheer a firebreak on the Mears tract of the Northern Tallgrass Prairie National Wildlife Refuge followed by prescribe fire treatment on 210 acres to benefit elk and other wildlife.

Marshall County—Use thinning and prescribed fire to decrease the amount of understory brush on the Kelly's Ridge Management Unit to maintain the oak savanna habitat across 1,100 acres as a benefit for the Grygla elk herd as well as moose, deer, bear, numerous species of migratory birds and other wildlife; use bulldozer shearing over frozen ground to limit top soil disturbance and regenerate large stands of over-mature brushland habitat particularly in areas where prescribed burning cannot be used effectively across 200 acres in the Grygla elk range (also benefits Beltrami County); maintain established forage plots while expanding the project area across 92 acres along the southern boundary of the Thief Lake Wildlife Management Area to alleviate depredation pressures on private lands (also benefits Beltrami County); apply treatments to aggressively treat common buckthorn, an invasive brush species, on 250 acres at three different sites across the Tallgrass Aspen Parkland to enhance the understory for many wildlife species.

Morrison County—Provide funding to assist the Big Lake Sportsman Club's Annual Youth Clay Pigeon Shoot where more than 80 youth between the ages of 11 and 16 attend for a fun day of shooting sports and outdoor education.

Statewide—Provide funding as part of a partnership with the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and the University of Minnesota to study the feasibility of restoring elk to a portion of the animal's historic range in eastern Minnesota; provide TFE funding to donate 576 RMEF youth membership knives to hunter education classes across the state; provide scholarship funding for two youth to attend the Minnesota Horse and Hunt Club Youth Hunting Camps where participants learn about archery, the use of shotguns, rifles and pistol, tracking, dog handling, identifying various types of cover and vegetation, safety practices and more; provide funding to assist the womenhfs.org website, a recruitment tool to keep women excited about hunting and fishing; provide funding for the Minnesota Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucuses which assist sportsmen groups interface with legislators and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; provide funding to co-sponsor the 2016 Minnesota State High School Clay Target League Championship which hosted more than 10,000 students from 319 different teams; and provide funding for the Annual Minnesota Governor's Deer Hunting Opener that includes a variety of activities such as a Youth Outdoor Expo, banquet, media day and time in the field.

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