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New Mexico Elk Habitat, Research Get Boost from RMEF Grants

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MISSOULA, Mont. — The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation awarded $117,016 in grants to benefit wildlife habitat, hunting heritage programs and scientific research in New Mexico.

The grants will directly benefit 4,228 acres in Catron, De Baca, Grant, Lincoln, Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Sandoval and Socorro Counties. There is also one project of statewide benefit.

“An increase in wildfire over the past several decades shows a need for forest restoration in New Mexico,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “This funding, in part, will assist with a study to determine how elk react to such projects in an effort to help biologists improve feed for elk and other wildlife.”

Since 1985, RMEF and its partners have completed 329 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in New Mexico with a combined value of more than $40.1 million. These projects have protected or enhanced 493,570 acres of habitat.

“We are especially grateful for the support of our members and volunteers in New Mexico who raised these funds through a variety of activities,” added Allen.

Allen also thanked volunteers and members across the country for their dedication to RMEF’s mission of ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.

Here is a sampling of New Mexico’s 2015 projects, listed by county:

Rio Arriba County — Apply prescribed fire treatment to 2,600 acres on the Santa Fe National Forest to enhance crucial winter range and yearlong habitat for elk and mule deer (also benefits Sandoval County).

Sandoval County — Provide funding for a continuing study in the Valles Caldera National Preserve to assess the responses of elk to large-scale forest restoration treatments in an effort to help guide future vegetation treatments designed to enhance forage conditions for elk (also benefits Rio Arriba County).

Socorro County — Thin pinyon-juniper and small diameter ponderosa pine from 372 acres within the Upper Point of Rocks and Kellog South units on Bureau of Land Management land to enhance habitat within the North San Mateo Landscape area. The treatment also functions as pre-treatment preparation for future prescribed burning.

Statewide — Provide Torstenson Family Endowment funding for 1,805 hunter orange safety vests for graduates of the New Mexico Game and Fish Hunter Education program.

Go here to see a full listing of RMEF’s 2015 projects in New Mexico.

Partners for the New Mexico projects include the Carson, Gila and Santa Fe National Forests, Bureau of Land Management, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, as well as various sportsmen and other local organizations.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Founded over 30 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of more than 205,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 6.6 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.

Courtesy of RMEF