Arkansas Elk Habitat Improved Via RMEF Grants

MISSOULA, Mont.—More than 10,400 acres of public land in Arkansas have been enhanced for wildlife as part of a slate of conservation and education projects receiving funding by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation in 2010.

Two habitat projects affected the Ozark National Forest and Buffalo National River in Marion, Newton and Searcy counties. Two education projects had statewide interest.

Together, the grants from RMEF totaled $49,680. [Read more…]

RMEF Supports ‘Right to Hunt’ Amendments in S.C., Tenn.

MISSOULA, Mont.–On Nov. 2, voters in South Carolina and Tennessee can pass amendments to their state constitutions that would protect hunting and fishing as constitutional rights. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation supports these amendments as a way to protect sporting traditions and the revenue they generate for conservation.

“Every citizen of South Carolina and Tennessee who appreciates wildlife and wild places should vote in favor of these amendments, because hunters and anglers pay for most of the conservation efforts in this country,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. [Read more…]

RMEF Urges Hunter Restraint Toward Wolves

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is urging hunters to continue their restraint and to not take wolf management into their own hands while afield this fall.

RMEF President and CEO David Allen also is thanking hunters in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming for their patience and sportsmanship over the years since wolf populations in those states have been fully restored but still federally protected.

Allen said, “We understand the growing frustration felt by sportsmen regarding wolves. We’re extremely frustrated, too. However, we ask hunters to avoid the temptation to solve this problem through ‘vigilante wolf management.’ The sporting community must continue to follow our time-honored tradition of legal, ethical hunting.” [Read more…]

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.
[Read more…]

RMEF Grants for Projects in Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma

MISSOULA, Mont.–Wildlife conservation and youth education projects in three Great Plains states–Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma–have been selected to receive grants from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation in 2010.

The RMEF grants, totaling $31,850, will affect three counties in Kansas, two counties in Nebraska and three counties in Oklahoma.

One additional project in Kansas has statewide interest.

“All of these grants are possible because of successful banquets and fundraisers staged over the past year by our Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma volunteers–most of whom are elk hunters as well as devoted conservationists,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “Since 1984, our annual grants have helped complete 165 different projects in these three states with a combined value of more than $4.7 million.” [Read more…]

RMEF Education Grants for Maryland, Delaware

RMEF Education Grants for Maryland, Delaware

MISSOULA, Mont.–Conservation education projects in nine counties in Maryland and one county in Delaware have been selected to receive grants from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation in 2010.

The new RMEF funding for Maryland, totaling $7,315 will affect Allegany, Baltimore, Caroline, Cecil, Charles, Garrett, Harford, Montgomery and Wicomico counties. An additional project has statewide interest. [Read more…]

Virginia to Receive Grants from Elk Foundation

MISSOULA, Mont.–A trio of conservation education and hunting heritage projects in Virginia have been selected to receive grants from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation in 2010.

The new RMEF funding, totaling $1,500, will help fund regional and statewide programs.

“Elk have always been an inspiration to our volunteers and members in Virginia, even before elk restoration was making local headlines. Since 1996, RMEF banquets and fundraisers have supported many kinds of conservation projects all across elk habitat, in western as well as eastern states, plus some 30 different projects in Virginia with a combined value of more than $150,000,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. [Read more…]

10 Ideas for Efficient Elk Hunting

Rocky Mountain Elk FoundationMISSOULA, Mont.–If you’re an elk hunter, or would like to be, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is offering 10 ideas for improving your efficiency this hunting season.

All were condensed from recent and coming features in RMEF’s bi-monthly member magazine, Bugle. A subscription comes with an annual RMEF membership for $35. To join, call 800-CALL ELK or visit www.rmef.org.

1. Scout from Space
If you’ve looked into the night sky, you’ve noticed the many satellites now orbiting our planet. They’re great tools for today’s hunter. Google Earth (earth.google.com) uses satellite images and aerial photography to give birds-eye views of elk country. Locate meadows, burns, roads, water, heavy-timber escape areas and more. You can even find places where the forest canopy thins to suggest hidden grazing spots for elk. Newer GPS units accept uploaded coordinates from Google Earth, allowing you to walk directly to and more efficiently ground-truth potential honeyholes. [Read more…]

Elk Hunt Forecast for 2010

MISSOULA, Mont.–Elk and elk hunting opportunities are abundant in much of North America, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is offering a sneak peek at upcoming seasons in its annual roundup of hunt forecasts for 28 states and provinces, now posted at www.rmef.org.

“Generally speaking, elk populations are in great shape and hunters have much to look forward to across the West, as well as in several Midwestern and Eastern states,” said David Allen, president and CEO of the Elk Foundation. “A mild winter, much needed spring and summer moisture and our habitat conservation successes all factor into our optimism for the upcoming hunting season.”

This summer, RMEF passed the 5.8 million acre mark for habitat conserved or enhanced for elk and other wildlife.

Allen added, however, that wolves continue to be a growing concern in regions where the predators share habitat with elk and other big game herds.

In some areas, elk calf survival rates are now insufficient to sustain herds for the future. The urgent need to control wolf populations is a localized wildlife management crisis now compounded by a recent court decision to return wolves to full federal protections under the Endangered Species Act. RMEF has asked Congress to intervene and grant management authority to the states.

Here’s a condensed look at elk data from state and provincial wildlife conservation agencies. To see these forecasts in their entirety, with links to respective elk regulations or other Web pages, visit www.rmef.org. For even more coverage, see the Sept./Oct. 2010 edition of the RMEF member magazine, Bugle. To join, call 800-CALL ELK. [Read more…]

Virginia to Restore Elk; RMEF Pledges Support

MISSOULA, Mont.–The board of directors of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has voted to restore a wild elk herd in part of the state, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has responded by pledging support for the effort. Possibilities could include RMEF funding assistance, technical expertise and/or volunteer labor.

The state’s restoration plan calls for relocating 75 elk into Buchanan County in southwest Virginia. Releases could begin by 2012. Biologists are hoping for a sustainable elk population and a limited elk-hunting season within four years. County officials are expecting significant economic and tourism benefits similar to those in neighboring Kentucky, which launched its own restoration program over a decade ago and now boasts the largest elk herd east of the Rockies.

At an agency meeting on Aug. 17, RMEF volunteers and staff spoke passionately in favor of elk restoration, although several other organizations were opposed. The board voted unanimously to restore elk into Buchanan County, which strongly supported the concept.

“Hats off to the citizens of Virginia, and especially those of Buchanan County, who understand there is no higher calling in conservation than restoring a native game species to sustainable, hunt-able, balanced populations. For everyone who doesn’t understand it today, I believe you’ll be convinced over time that this was the right decision, the right thing to do, the right way to go about it,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO.

To be a part of this historic conservation effort in Virginia, join and support RMEF. Visit www.rmef.org and click “Attend an Event” to find fundraisers planned across the state. For additional information, call 800-CALL ELK or contact Chris Croy, RMEF regional director for Virginia, at 704-551-6223 or ccroy@rmef.org.