MISSOULA, Mont.—Five counties in Arizona are slated for wildlife habitat conservation projects using $99,820 in new grants from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
The 2009 RMEF grants will affect Apache, Coconino, Navajo, Yavapai and Yuma counties.
“Thanks to our volunteers across Arizona who helped drive the 2008 fundraisers that made these grants possible. When Elk Foundation banquets, auctions and other events transform into on-the-ground conservation work, it’s payday for all of our 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 Arizona projects, listed by county:
Apache County—Thin trees and shrubs to restore 8,339 acres of grasslands, and install 6 miles of pipeline for wildlife watering devices, to improve winter range for elk, mule deer, pronghorn and other wildlife in the North Escudilla area; sponsor White Mountain Youth Hunter Camps to introduce young people to hunting skills and ethics in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (also affects Navajo County).
Coconino County—Research elk movements to locate potential sites for wildlife underpasses along Interstate 40 between Williams and Winona.
Yavapai County—Sponsor National Archery in the Schools program to introduce Prescott Valley Charter School students to competitive archery skills.
Yuma County—Sponsor Scholastic Clay Target Program in Yuma to introduce young people to trap and skeet shooting.
A committee of Elk Foundation volunteers and staff select projects for grants. Additional projects are being reviewed and supplemental grants could be announced later this year.
To date, partners for 2009 projects in Arizona include Arizona Game and Fish Department, Arizona Department of Transportation, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Forest Service, other agencies, corporations, landowners and organizations.
Since 1984, the Elk Foundation and its partners have completed more than 360 conservation projects in Arizona with a value of more than $28 million.
About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Snowy peaks, dark timber basins and grassy meadows. RMEF is leading an elk country initiative that has conserved or enhanced habitat on over 5.6 million acres—a land area equivalent to a swath three miles wide and stretching along the entire Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico. RMEF also works to open, secure and improve public access for hunting, fishing and other recreation. Get involved at www.rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.