20090822_RockyMnt_processMISSOULA, Mont.—Eight counties in California are slated for wildlife habitat conservation projects using $227,571 in new grants from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

The 2009 RMEF grants will affect Colusa, Humboldt, Inyo, Modoc, San Luis Obispo, Shasta, Siskiyou and Trinity counties.

Another project has statewide interest.

“California is the only state with three subspecies of elk—Rocky Mountain, Roosevelt’s and tule—but that’s only part of what makes this state special. Our volunteers all across The Golden State absolutely devoted themselves to 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 California projects, listed by county:

Colusa County—Restore riparian zone native vegetation to improve habitat for elk and other wildlife on BLM land in Payne Ranch area. RMEF helped purchase the Payne Ranch several years ago and remains heavily involved in habitat protection and enhancement projects in the area.
Humboldt County—Improve forage for elk and other wildlife by removing encroaching conifers from oak woodlands and native prairies on BLM Lack’s Creek Management Area.


Inyo County—
Using a helicopter, capture 18 elk and fit them with radio collars to research movement patterns, population status and herd composition in Owens Valley.
Modoc County—Continue prescribe burn program to improve forage for elk on Devil’s Garden area, and install four guzzlers to improve water sources for wildlife, in Modoc National Forest.


San Luis Obispo County—
Install larger water tank to improve water source for wildlife and livestock on Gifford Ranch state lands; construct tanks and troughs for a year-round water supply in South Chimineas Ranch area of Los Padres National Forest.
Shasta County—Using a helicopter, capture elk and fit them with radio collars to research movement patterns, population status and habitat use across northern California (also affects Siskiyou and Trinity counties).
Siskiyou County—Use specialized tools to remove taproot and treat perennial, noxious weeds to improve forage for elk and other wildlife on 42 acres near South Fork Salmon River in Klamath National Forest.
Statewide—Assist California Department of Fish and Game with construction of panel traps to capture elk for management research and translocation.
Partners for 2009 projects in California include California Department of Fish and Game, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, other agencies, landowners and organizations.
Since 1984, the Elk Foundation and its partners have completed more than 350 conservation projects in California with a value of more than $20.5 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.