MISSOULA, Mont.-Emphasizing habitat protection and enhancement, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has announced its 2008 grants for conservation projects in South Dakota.
Nine grants totaling $43,865 are being awarded.
Grants will affect Beadle, Custer, Fall River, Lawrence, Meade and Pennington counties. Two additional projects have statewide interest.
“This is all about ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat in South Dakota,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “Grants are based on revenues from Elk Foundation fundraising banquets and other events in South Dakota, as well as worthy project proposals.”
The new Elk Foundation grants will help fund the following South Dakota conservation projects, listed by county:
Beadle County-Sponsor the South Dakota Outdoor Expo, an event to introduce families and youths to the outdoors.
Custer County-Perform maintenance on approximately 100 watering devices to enhance habitat for elk and other wildlife in Black Hills National Forest (also affects Pennington, Lawrence, Fall River and Meade counties); research elk herd movement patterns in Black Hills using radio-collared elk (also affects Pennington, Lawrence, Fall River and Meade counties); continue research on habitat, forage production and use in Custer State Park; develop watering devices, utilizing labor from Elk Foundation volunteers, to improve elk habitat in Custer State Park.
Pennington County-Develop a scientific model, using radio-collared elk, to improve population estimates for elk in the Black Hills (also affects Lawrence, Meade and Custer counties); prescribe burn 1,400 acres to enhance forage and browse for wildlife in Black Hills National Forest (also affects Custer County).
Statewide-Sponsor event to recognize landowners for participating in South Dakota’s Walk-In Area sportsmen access program; sponsor a youth hunting and outdoor experience course.
South Dakota’s RMEF leadership team also allocated $26,332 to the organization’s Black Hills Conservation Initiative, an ongoing effort to protect and steward habitat for elk and other wildlife.
Since 1984, the Elk Foundation and its partners have completed more than 154 conservation projects in South Dakota with a value of more than $19 million. Partners for 2008 projects in South Dakota include South Dakota Department of Agriculture, South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks, South Dakota State University, U.S. Forest Service, other agencies, corporations, landowners and organizations.
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 570,000 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.