MISSOULA, Montana—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, an international conservation group focused on habitat protection and enhancement, has announced its 2008 project grants for Washington.

Grants will affect Asotin, Baker, Clallam, Cowlitz, Ferry, Kittitas, Lewis, Pierce, Skamania, Stevens and Yakima counties. An additional project has statewide interest.

“This is all about ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat in Washington,” said David Allen, Elk Foundation president and CEO. “Grants are based on revenues from Elk Foundation fundraising banquets in Washington, as well as worthy project proposals.”

For 2008, 19 grants totaling $174,111 will help fund the following Washington conservation projects, listed by county:

Asotin County—Treat noxious weeds to enhance elk habitat in Montgomery Ridge area and on 960 acres in the lower Grande Ronde River area, and assist with an early weed detection and rapid response program in Asotin Creek and Chief Joseph wildlife areas (nine new weed species have been identified in past two years), prescribed burn 1,316 acres to enhance forage in Umatilla National Forest; till, treat weeds and reseed grasses on 30 acres in Blue Mountains Wildlife Area; mow and fertilize 255 acres to enhance habitat in Blue Mountain Wildlife Area (also affects Garfield County); aerially treat weeds and reseed native grasses on 90 acres in George Creek area.

Baker County—Prescribed burn, treat weeds and re-seed 80 acres to enhance forage for elk in Joseph Creek Wildlife Area.

Clallam County—Treat weeds, reseed and fertilize 15 acres to enhance elk habitat in Bogachiel River area.

Cowlitz County—Prescribed burn 1,400 acres to enhance forage for elk in Coyote Creek area; reseed grasses on 60 acres in Mt. Saint Helens Wildlife Area.

Ferry County—Prescribed burn 1,400 acres to enhance elk habitat in Colville National Forest.

Kittitas County—
Assist with communication and education materials for Washington Department of Natural Resources’ Green Dot Access Management Program to enhance elk habitat in Ahtanum State Forest (also affects Yakima County); research project to study new planting techniques for shrubs and grasses in wildfire area in Colockum Wildlife Area.

Lewis County—Thin 716 acres of trees to enhance elk habitat in Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

Pierce County
—Relocate exclosure fence to open 27 acres of habitat for deer and elk in Snoqualmie National Forest.

Skamania County—Thin trees on 413 acres to enhance habitat for elk in Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

Statewide (all counties)—Multi-state research project to study elk calf survival and mortality related to climate, wolves and habitat quality.

Stevens County—Prescribed burn 300 acres to enhance forage on elk winter range in Colville National Forest.

Since 1984, the Elk Foundation and its partners have completed more than 378 conservation projects in Washington with a value of more than $37.8 million. Partners for 2008 projects in Washington include Asotin County Conservation District, Bureau of Land Management, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Washington Department of Natural Resources, University of Montana, U.S. Forest Service, other agencies, corporations, landowners, organizations and universities.

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 over 5.2 million acres, a land area larger than Connecticut, Delaware and District of Columbia combined. More than 500,000 acres previously closed to public access are now open for hunting, fishing and other recreation. To help protect wild elk country or learn more about the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, visit www.elkfoundation.org or call 800-CALL-ELK.