MISSOULA, Mont.–Emphasizing habitat protection and enhancement, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has announced its 2008 grants for conservation projects in California.
Twelve grants totaling $249,959 are being awarded.
Grants will affect Colusa, Humboldt, Modoc, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Shasta, Siskiyou and Trinity counties.
“This is all about ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat in California,” said David Allen, Elk Foundation president and CEO. “Grants are based on revenues from Elk Foundation fundraising banquets and other events in California, as well as worthy project proposals.”
The new Elk Foundation grants will help fund the following California conservation projects, listed by county:
Colusa County–Repair a water development to provide a consistent watering source for elk and other wildlife in Cache Creek Natural Area.
Humboldt County–Improve forage for elk by thinning encroaching conifers from oak woodlands and native prairies in Lack’s Creek Management Area.
Modoc County–Remove 400 acres of encroaching juniper to improve forage for elk in Modoc National Forest; install two guzzlers to provide water for wildlife in Modoc National Forest; prescribe burn 1,000 acres to enhance habitat on Modoc National Forest.
San Benito County–Conduct research, in conjunction with California Department of Fish and Game, to measure elk and deer response to a habitat enhancement project featuring a 2,500-acre prescribed burn.
San Luis Obispo County–Construct a pond to provide water for elk, black-tailed deer and antelope in the Carrizo Plain Ecological Reserve.
Shasta County–Prescribe burn to improve forage quality and quantity for elk on Shasta-Trinity National Forest and Shasta-Trinity National Recreational Area.
Siskiyou County–Facilitate and fund two conservation easements permanently protecting 3,700 acres of elk winter range in Goosenest Mountain area; drill two water wells to enhance habitat for elk and other wildlife in the Sam’s Neck area; prescribe burn to restore historic meadow habitat in Marble Mountain area of Klamath National Forest.
Trinity County–Conduct research project using radio/GPS collars on elk to determine habitat selection and movement patterns.
Since 1984, the Elk Foundation and its partners have completed more than 316 conservation projects in California with a value of nearly $19.5 million. Partners for 2008 projects in California include Bureau of Land Management, California Department of Fish and Game, University of California-Berkeley, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, other agencies, corporations, landowners and organizations.
Another $33,442 will be allocated later this year for Elk Foundation state grants in California.
Also later this year, Elk Foundation will launch a multi-year initiative to restore aspen trees to 10,000 acres of wildlife habitat across northern California. Declining across much of its native range, aspen is seen as a critical element in habitat for elk and over 140 other wildlife species.
About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Snowy peaks, dark timber basins and grassy meadows. RMEF is leading an elk country initiative that has already conserved or enhanced habitat on over 5.4 million acres–a land area equivalent to a swath three miles wide and stretching along the entire Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico. Most work occurs on public lands. More than 561,000 acres have been opened or secured for public access including hunting, fishing and other recreation. Get involved at www.rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.