The 2009 RMEF grants will affect Catron, Lincoln, Mora, Otero, Sierra, Socorro and Taos counties.
“Our volunteers across New Mexico 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 New Mexico projects, listed by county:
Catron County—Improve forage for elk by mechanically thinning 750 acres of pinion and juniper to rejuvenate grasses, forbs and shrubs in the Pelona Mountain Area on BLM lands.
Lincoln County—Thin 1,100 acres of encroaching pinion and juniper to stimulate browse for elk in the Lincoln National Forest.
Mora County—Restore riparian, wet meadow and grassland habitat for elk and other wildlife in the Wagon Mound area.
Otero County—Develop 30 maintenance-free water catchment devices and wildlife drinking locations to improve habitat for elk, mule deer, pronghorn, javelina, scaled and Gambel’s quail, and other species in Otero Mesa area on BLM Lands.
Sierra County—Prescribe burn 9,078 acres of ponderosa pine, mixed conifer, pinion and juniper to enhance forage for elk in Gila National Forest.
Socorro County—Restore grassland and aspen habitat by thinning 1,600 acres and prescribe burning 8,433 acres of decadent conifer in Cibola National Forest.
Taos County—Re-seed native grasses on 2,243 acres to replace exotic pasture grasses and restore habitat for elk and other wildlife in Ute Mountain area on BLM lands.
Partners for 2009 projects in New Mexico include Bureau of Land Management, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, U.S. Forest Service, other agencies, corporations, landowners and organizations.
Since 1984, the Elk Foundation and its partners have completed more than 220 conservation projects in New Mexico with a value of more than $18.4 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.