MISSOULA, Mont.—Texas is a mighty big place, but its borders aren’t nearly big enough to contain its residents’ passion for wildlife, hunting and conservation. Over the past year, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation supporters across the state have raised enough money to grant substantial funding for elk habitat initiatives nationwide, plus keep some dollars at home for important conservation education efforts in 12 Texas counties.
In Texas, RMEF grants totaling $31,625 will affect Austin, Burleson, Fayette, Harris, Kaufman, Kerr, Lee, Madison, Potter, Victoria, Washington and Williamson counties.
Three additional projects have statewide interest.
For 2010, Texas also is funding RMEF habitat conservation and enhancement projects, primarily in the Mountain West, with grants totaling $126,012.
“All of this funding is possible because of the successful banquets and fundraisers staged over the past year by our Texas volunteers—most of whom are elk hunters as well as devoted conservationists,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “Since 1984, RMEF grants in Texas have helped complete 84 different projects with a combined value of more than $1.3 million—and the state’s continuing influence on elk and habitat conservation nationwide also is significant and impressive.”
RMEF grants will help fund the following Texas projects, listed by county:
Burleson County—Sponsor 4-H Shooting Sports 2010 to introduce young people to conservation and outdoor recreation.
Harris County—Sponsor Houston Safari Club 2010 Hunter Education Program to help teach firearm safety and hunting ethics.
Kaufman County—Sponsor Hidden Acres Archery Program to introduce young people to conservation and outdoor recreation.
Kerr County—Sponsor Texas Youth Hunting Program’s “2010 Leadership and the Outdoors Camp” to introduce young people to conservation and outdoor recreation; sponsor Troy Smith Ranch 2010-11 hunts for wounded military.
Lee County—Sponsor 2010 Youth Shooting Event to introduce young people to conservation and outdoor recreation (also affects Washington and Fayette counties).
Madison County—Sponsor Madison County 4-H Shotgun Club to introduce young people to conservation and outdoor recreation.
Potter County—Sponsor Potter County Boy Scouts of America/4-H Shotgun Shooters Club to introduce young people to conservation and outdoor recreation.
Statewide—Sponsor Texas 2010 National Archery in the Schools Program to introduce young people to conservation and outdoor recreation; sponsor Texas 2010 Youth Hunter Program; sponsor the Texas 2010 Elk Calling Contest at the Cabela’s store in Buda, Texas.
Victoria County—Sponsor Victoria County hunter education laser shot simulator to help teach firearm safety and hunting ethics; sponsor 4-H Shooting Stars Archery for 2010.
Washington County—Sponsor Washington County Youth Shooting Club to introduce young people to conservation and outdoor recreation (also affects Austin County).
Williamson County—Sponsor Texas Hill Country 2010 3-D Archery Shoot to introduce young people and their families to conservation and outdoor recreation.
Projects are selected for grants by a committee of RMEF volunteers and staff in Texas.
Partners for 2010 projects in Texas include the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, many local civic and sportsmen clubs, conservation organizations and others.
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 5.7 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.