(July 24, 2007), Wisconsin — The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation announced it will fund 32 new conservation projects throughout Wisconsin this year that will make a critical difference in the organization’s efforts to conserve and enhance habitat for elk and other wildlife. The funding will also help the state manage its elk restoration program near Clam Lake. “Wisconsin was the site of the Elk Foundation’s first elk reintroduction program in 1995 when officials in Michigan gifted Wisconsin 25 animals,” said Lou George, Regional Director for the Elk Foundation. “While the herd is still small, local and regional interest in huge. This program would not be possible without the hard work and generous contributions of Elk Foundation members and funds raised at RMEF Big Game Banquets.”This year’s projects will be supported by grants of more than $218,000. In addition to projects focusing on managing the elk restoration program near Clam Lake, the Elk Foundation will fund permanent land protection projects, habitat stewardship work, conservation education, and hunter safety programs throughout Wisconsin.
Following are brief summaries of a few of the projects the Elk Foundation has already begun to fund and will continue to fund during the year:
• In Ashland, Bayfield, Price and Sawyer Counties, the Elk Foundation is monitoring the growth and health of the Clam Lake herd using a radio collar system.
• In Ashland, Bayfield and Sawyer Counties the foundation will mow 66 acres, hand cut trees and shrubs on 30 acres and burn four acres along the Extreme Low Frequency (ELF) corridor that provides critical habitat for the Clam Lake elk herd.
• In Ashland, Bayfield and Sawyer Counties, the Elk Foundation will study natural openings in the ELF corridor for its forage quality, soil quality and other factors contributing the success of the herd.
• In Wood County, the Elk Foundation recently partnered with the Kiwanis Club to host the inaugural Kiwanis Youth Outdoors Day at Red Sands Beach Park. The event introduced youth, ages eight to 16, to outdoor sporting activities such as archery, canoeing, animal calling, decoy setup, fishing, taxidermy, trapping, and shooting sports.
• In Dodge County, the Elk Foundation recently partnered with Wisconsin Outdoor Alliance Foundation to host a two-day event to provide families and students the opportunity to experience hands-on activities designed to encourage lifelong participation in the outdoors. Free to participants, the event drew more than 5,000 students and teachers.
About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Founded in 1984 and headquartered in Missoula, Mont., the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat. The Elk Foundation and its partners have permanently protected or enhanced more than 4.8 million acres, a land area nearly twice as large as Yellowstone National Park. More than 480,000 acres previously closed to public access are now open for hunting, fishing and other recreation. The Elk Foundation has more than 160,000 members, a staff of 150 and 10,000 active volunteers. To help protect wild elk country or learn more about the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, visit www.elkfoundation.org or call 800-CALL-ELK, or WI Regional Director Lou George at 800-589-1955