Conservation Groups Urge Stop to Wolf Negotiations

MISSOULA, Mont.—In a letter to Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Director Joe Maurier, conservation organizations are urging state officials to stick with science in determining adequate populations of gray wolves, rather than negotiating with environmental and animal rights groups to allow surplus populations.

The agency is currently negotiating a settlement with the 13 groups who sued to keep gray wolves federally protected under the Endangered Species Act.

These negotiations potentially threaten to weaken the state’s authority to manage populations of game and non-game species, presenting a dangerous precedent for other states seeking to manage wolf populations through their respective state agencies.
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Elk Foundation Grants to Benefit 15 Wyoming Counties

 

 

MISSOULA, Mont.—Fifteen counties in Wyoming are slated for wildlife habitat conservation projects using $352,547 in new grants from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

The 2009 RMEF grants will affect Albany, Bighorn, Carbon, Converse, Laramie, Lincoln, Natrona, Park, Sheridan, Sublette, Sweetwater, Teton, Uinta, Washakie and Weston counties.

Additional projects have statewide interest.

“Our volunteers across Wyoming helped drive the 2008 fundraisers that made these grants possible. This is where Elk Foundation banquets, auctions and other events transform into on-the-ground conservation work, and it’s part of the payday for supporters who are passionate about giving something back to the outdoors,” said David Allen, Elk Foundation president and CEO.

Elk Foundation grants will help fund the following Wyoming projects, listed by county:

Bighorn County—Prescribe burn 300 acres of juniper and mountain sagebrush to improve forage for elk, bighorn sheep, mule deer, sage grouse and antelope in BLM Devil’s Canyon area.

Carbon County—Continue efforts to secure 1,561-acre conservation easement on a private ranch containing elk habitat surrounded by subdivision and energy developments; prescribe burn 2,775 acres to improve elk winter range in Medicine Bow National Forest Big Sandstone area; thin and prescribe burn to improve habitat in Sierra Madre/Little Snake River area of Medicine Bow National Forest; clean ditches and install 1,500 feet of pipeline to improve and expand irrigation and forage on elk winter range at Pennock Mountain Wildlife Management Area; install wildlife friendly fencing and water troughs at two springs to improve use by livestock and elk in BLM Romios Spring area.

Converse County—Using prescribed fire, restore grasses, forbs, aspen and water availability for elk and other wildlife on the North Laramie Range (also affects Albany, Natrona and Converse counties); sponsored deer/antelope hunts with Paralyzed Veterans of America; sponsored Wyoming State 4-H Shooting Sports Competition for about 500 youths competing in pistol, rifle, archery, muzzleloader and shotgun skills.

Laramie County—Install three fence-exclosures around spring water sources to restore riparian areas for elk along BLM North Crow Creek area.

Lincoln County—Utilize biological and chemical control mechanisms, control weed infestations to enhance forage for elk in Bridger-Teton National Forest.

Natrona County—Thin and prescribe burn encroaching conifer and sagebrush to improve aspen communities and forage for elk in Bates Creek watershed; remove overgrown conifer on 215 acres of curl leaf mahogany habitat in BLM Lost Creek area.

Park County—Support research project to study elk migration timing and routes in relationship to private lands, and study habitat use by elk and wolves in Absaroka Mountains.

Sheridan County—Thin 200 acres of encroaching forest to improve elk habitat in Bighorn National Forest; install weed-catchers to enhance structural support for beaver dams, which will restore stream morphology and riparian meadows along Big Willow Creek in Bighorn National Forest.

Sublette County—As part of a continuing stewardship project, thin overgrown forest to restore aspen and grasslands habitat for elk and other wildlife on privately owned, publicly accessibly timberlands.

Statewide—Sponsor Hunting and Fishing Heritage Expo, firearms handling and shooting clinics for youth and women, and Access Yes programs with Wyoming Game and Fish Department; newspaper advertising across Wyoming to celebrate RMEF achievements in conjunction with National Hunting and Fishing Day; radio advertising to build public awareness of RMEF achievements.

Sweetwater County—Develop water source with solar power to ensure water for livestock, elk and other wildlife on BLM lands.

Teton County—Prescribe burn 3,264 acres of elk winter and transition range to improve forage and aspen along Lower Gros Ventre area in Bridger-Teton National Forest; provide funding for “Don’t Poach the Powder” campaign to help protect elk winter range near Jackson Hole (also affects Lincoln County); sponsored Great Elk Tour at Jackson Hole Elk Fest.

Uinta County—Prescribe burn 455 acres of conifer slash to open habitat for aspen and grasslands habitat preferred by elk in Wasatch National Forest.

Washakie County—Thin 800 acres of juniper encroachment and restore sagebrush and grassland on elk winter range in BLM Rome Hill area.

Weston County—Seed 100 acres of native grass in a cleared, aspen regeneration project area for elk and other wildlife in Parmlee Canyon.

Partners for 2009 projects in Wyoming include Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, other agencies, corporations, landowners and organizations.

Since 1984, the Elk Foundation and its partners have completed more than 380 conservation projects in Wyoming with a value of more than $36.3 million.

Tennessee Elk Tag for Auction on eBay

 

 

MISSOULA, Mont.—For the first time in almost 150 years, Tennessee will host an elk hunt this autumn. Five lucky hunters will participate. Four Tennesseans received tags in a special drawing and one remaining tag will be auctioned on eBay July 16-25.

All auction proceeds will support Tennessee’s elk restoration program.

“This hunt is one of the rewards for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s hard work in helping to restore a wild elk herd that was missing in Tennessee for a very long time,” said David Allen, president and CEO of the Montana-based conservation organization. “We hope our supporters will register on eBay and bid enthusiastically as a continuation of our support for this program.”

The hunt will take place at east Tennessee’s North Cumberland WMA Oct. 19-23, 2009.

All five hunters will be invited to an elk camp complete with wall tents, campfires, meals and entertainment. The camp will be held at the property of Terry Lewis near the North Cumberland WMA Elk Viewing Tower. Camp sponsors include the Elk Foundation, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Tennessee Wildlife Federation and Campbell Outdoor Recreation Association. Several of these groups are also partnering to promote the sale of the tag.

Tag recipients in the drawing were announced in June. Winners include Craig Gardner, of Parrotsville, Charles Ray Flynn of Rockford, Ronald L. Woodard of Oak Ridge, and Jeffrey L. Moses of Cleveland.

For more information visit www.twrf.net.

 

Partners Protect 2,675 Acres of Habitat, Access in Washington

 

 

MISSOULA, Mont. Several partners including the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation have completed a 2,675-acre first phase of a three-year project to protect wildlife habitat and public access in the Cascade Mountains near the Naches River in Washington.

 

By 2011, the entire project will transfer more than 10,000 acres in Kittitas County from Plum Creek Timber Co. to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

 

First-phase partners included The Nature Conservancy, Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, WDFW and RMEF. A broad coalition, including the Kittitas County Commissioners, Yakama Nation, U.S. Forest Service and Washington Department of Natural Resources, supported the project.

 

We’re proud to be a part of this unique partnership that is generating permanent benefits for wildlife and sportsmen. The first phase of this project has moved a significant piece of critical elk range and calving grounds into public ownership, said David Allen, president and CEO of the Elk Foundation.

 

Habitat includes alpine areas home to mountain goats, shrub-steppe and basalt cliffs for elk, mule deer and bighorn sheep, and streams used by bull, cutthroat and rainbow trout as well as salmon. The diverse landscape hosts a wide variety of other species including several classified as sensitive or threatened.

 

The area, called Rock Creek, also is a popular recreation and scenic destination.

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Elk Foundation Grants to Benefit 3 Minnesota Counties

 

 

MISSOULA, Mont. Three counties in Minnesota are slated for wildlife and habitat conservation projects using $38,272 in new grants from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.ties. said David Allen, Elk Foundation president and CEO.Kittson County – Establish two new forage openings for elk and other wildlife near Skull Lake, Caribou and Beaches Lake wildlife management areas; mechanically thin encroaching aspen to enhance habitat on 85 acres in Caribou Wildlife Management area.

The 2009 RMEF grants will affect Betrami, Kittson and Marshall coun

Our volunteers across Minnesota helped drive the 2008 fundraisers that made these grants possible. This is where Elk Foundation banquets, auctions and other events transform into on-the-ground conservation work, and its part of the payday for supporters who are passionate about giving something back to the outdoors,

Elk Foundation grants will help fund the following Minnesota conservation projects, listed by county:

 

Marshall County – Mechanically thin 250 acres of brush to improve forage for elk, maintain firebreaks to accommodate prescribed burning, and seed/fertilize 67 acres of forage at Grygla, Moose River, Thief Lake and Wapiti wildlife management areas (also affects Beltrami County).

Since 1984, the Elk Foundation and its partners have completed more than 86 conservation projects in Minnesota with a value of more than $40 million.

Partners for 2009 projects in Minnesota include Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, other agencies, landowners and organizations.

 

Elk Foundation Grants to Benefit 12 Colorado Counties

 

 

MISSOULA, Mont.—Twelve counties in Colorado are slated for wildlife habitat conservation and public education projects using $205,497 in new grants from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

The 2009 RMEF grants will affect Boulder, Clear Creek, El Paso, Grand, Huerfano, La Plata, Mesa, Park, Rio Blanco, Routt, Saguache and San Miguel counties.

“Our volunteers across Colorado helped drive the 2008 fundraisers that made these grants possible. This is where Elk Foundation banquets, auctions and other events transform into on-the-ground conservation work, and its part of the payday for supporters who are passionate about giving something back to the outdoors,” said David Allen, Elk Foundation president and CEO.

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Montana Donors Challenge Elk Foundation

 

MISSOULA, Mont. A Montana couple has challenged the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to raise an extra $500,000 for its habitat work. As an incentive, the couple has also offered to match those additional funds. said Allen.llenge. For details, call 800-CALL ELK.

In this economy, investors don’t get many chances to double their money, but here’s an opportunity, said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO.

Allen accepted the challenge gift from Rick and Penney Oncken of Missoula, Mont.

The Onckens are great supporters of the Elk Foundation and they believe our mission is too important to risk a slowdown due to the recession. Their generosity is a chance for a combined extra $1 million worth of conservation in elk country. We intend to make the most of it,

Contributions, in any amount, over and above the RMEF 2009-10 budget for gifts will be matched through the Onckens’ $500,000 cha

 

Vineyards, Elk Habitat and a Conservationist

 

MISSOULA, Mont.”Vineyards ain’t elk habitat, but one conservationist can make them both a whole lot better.”

Immediate past chairman of the board for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, California winegrape farmer and vintner Andrew Hoxsey has been named the 2009 Napa Grower of the Yearby the Napa Valley Grape growers. [Read more…]

Elk Foundation CEO Signs 5-Year Contract Extension

 

MISSOULA, Mont.Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation President and CEO David Allen will remain at the organization’s helm at least through August 2014, following a new five-year contract extension from the RMEF board of directors.

Allen has held the position since late 2007.

This was an easy decision, said Joe Treadway, Asheville, N.C., chairman of the board for the Elk Foundation. David has our organization headed in the right direction with strong endorsements from key volunteers, supporters and staff. He has rededicated us to our core mission of ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat. We’re pleased to have him on a new contract to keep the momentum going.

Allen thanked the board for its confidence and passed credit to RMEF volunteers and staff.

“We have the best volunteers in the world and a staff of incredibly talented and dedicated professionals. Working together, we’re in a class by ourselves when it comes to conservation. I’m looking for great things from us over the next few years, said Allen.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2009, the Elk Foundation has helped protect or enhance over 5.5 million acres of elk country and restore elk herds to long-vacant parts of their historic range.

Allen brought a wealth of marketing and business experience to his position as RMEF president and CEO. He spent 33 years in marketing, media and events surrounding Professional Bull Riders, NASCAR, Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association and Wrangler Jeans. He served on boards for RMEF and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, and is a lifelong hunter and conservationist.

Born and raised in Deadwood, S.D., Allen studied journalism at the University of Wyoming and now makes his home with his wife and two sons in Billings, Mont.

Elk Foundation Grants to Benefit 19 Oregon Counties

 

MISSOULA, Mont.—Nineteen counties in Oregon are slated for wildlife habitat conservation and public education projects using $207,030 in new grants from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

The 2009 RMEF grants will affect Baker, Benton, Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Malheur, Morrow, Tillamook, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa and Yamhill counties.

“Our volunteers across Oregon helped drive the 2008 fundraisers that made these grants possible. This is where Elk Foundation banquets, auctions and other events transform into on-the-ground conservation work, and its part of the payday for supporters who are passionate about giving something back to the outdoors,” said David Allen, Elk Foundation president and CEO.

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