April 21, 2008
Wyoming Conservation Projects Draw Elk Foundation Grants
MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has announced its first-round grants for 2008 conservation projects in Wyoming.
Sixteen conservation grants totaling $215,000 have been awarded. Another $103,663 is available for allocation in second-round grants to be decided in July.
First-round grants will affect Albany, Carbon, Converse, Fremont, Lincoln, Natrona, Park, Sheridan, Sublette, Sweetwater and Weston counties.
“This is all about ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat in Wyoming,” said David Allen, Elk Foundation president and CEO. “Grants are based on revenues from Elk Foundation fundraising banquets in Wyoming, as well as worthy project proposals.”
Elk Foundation grants will help fund the following Wyoming conservation projects, listed by county:
Albany County—Restore vegetation and rehabilitate up to 292 miles of unauthorized trails to decrease erosion and benefit elk and other wildlife in Medicine Bow National Forest and Thunder Basin National Grassland.
Carbon County—Construct special fencing at Dexter Spring to improve habitat for elk while still providing water for livestock on BLM lands; enhance spring water availability for wildlife and people at Continental Divide National Scenic Trail on BLM lands; prescribe burn 700 acres to improve forage in Medicine Bow National Forest; treat encroaching conifer and restore aspen to improve habitat for wildlife and fish in Medicine Bow National Forest.
Converse County—Treat cheatgrass and prickly pear cactus to restore sagebrush habitat for elk and other wildlife in Thunder Basin National Grassland (also affects Weston County).
Fremont County—Provide funding for grazing-allotment permit holder to voluntarily waive allotment without preference, reducing livestock depredation and increasing forage for elk on 34,500 acres in the Shoshone National Forest.
Lincoln County—Apply biological control mechanisms to reduce weeds in elk habitat in Bridger-Teton National Forest; permanently protect 3,100 acres of elk habitat via conservation easement expected for completion in 2008.
Natrona County—Prescribe burn and mechanically treat habitat to restore aspen and improve forage for elk in the Bates Creek Watershed area.
Park County—Research project to study elk migration routes and timing, and habitat use by elk and wolves, in Absaroka Mountains.
Sheridan County—Thin encroaching ponderosa pine to restore elk winter range on east slope of the Big Horn Mountains.
Sublette County—Prescribe burn, restore aspen and enhance elk habitat on 1,154 acres in Bridger-Teton National Forest; permanently protect 4,450 acres of elk habitat via conservation easement expected for completion in 2008; treat encroaching conifer and restore aspen to improve elk habitat on 1,530 acres of BLM lands.
Sweetwater County—Permanently protect 1,400 acres of elk habitat via conservation easement expected for completion in 2008.
Since 1984, the Elk Foundation and its partners have completed more than 340 conservation projects in Wyoming with a value of nearly $27 million. Partners for 2008 projects in Wyoming include Bureau of Land Management, University of Wyoming, U.S. Forest Service, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, other agencies, corporations, landowners and organizations.