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California Elk Research, Habitat Work Get a Boost

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MISSOULA, Mont. — The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation awarded nearly half a million dollars in grant funding to assist with elk research and wildlife habitat stewardship work in California.

The $494,953 in grants benefit 22 projects across 5,726 acres in Colusa, Del Norte, Humboldt, Lassen, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Monterey, Placer, Sacramento, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Shasta, Siskiyou and Yolo Counties. There are also five projects of statewide benefit.

“California is home to three different subspecies of elk,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “This grant funding will assist researchers and wildlife managers to better determine and understand movement, reproductive rates, survival and other demographic factors leading to maintaining sustainable elk populations.”

RMEF volunteers and members raised the funding via banquets, membership drives and other events which is put back on the ground in their home state and across elk country.

Here is a sampling of the 2016 projects, listed by county:

Humboldt County — Remove encroaching conifers on 275 acres followed by planting native vegetation to restore coastal prairie habitat on BLM managed land in the King Range.

Modoc County — Remove encroaching juniper across 4,531 acres in the Blue Mountain area to restore sage steppe habitat to benefit wildlife on the Modoc National Forest.

Siskiyou County — Provide research funding for collars to be placed on approximately 140 elk to assist wildlife managers in determining population trends, reproductive rates, movements, survival of cows and calves and other information in establishing sustainable elk populations and sound hunting proposals (also benefits Modoc, Del Notre, Humboldt and Lassen Counties).

Statewide — Provide Torstenson Family Endowment (TFE) funding for the purchase and donation of 816 RMEF youth membership knives to hunter education classes

Go here for a full project listing.

California project partners include the Klamath, Lassen, Modoc, Six Rivers and Shasta-Trinity National Forests, Bureau of Land Management, California Department of Fish and Wildlife and private landowners as well as sportsmen, government, civic and other organizations.

Since 1988, RMEF and its partners completed 558 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in California with a combined value of more than $42.2 million. These projects protected or enhanced 147,520 acres of habitat and opened or secured public access to 15,289 acres.

RMEF uses TFE funding solely to further its core mission programs of permanent land protection, habitat stewardship, elk restoration and hunting heritage.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Founded over 30 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of nearly 220,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 6.9 million acres for elk and other wildlife. RMEF also works to open and improve public access, fund and advocate for science-based resource management, and ensure the future of America’s hunting heritage. Discover why “Hunting Is Conservation™” at www.rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.Take action: join and/or donate.

Courtesy of RMEF