(Photo credit: Susan Summer Elliott)
MISSOULA, Mont. — The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and its conservation partners supplied $1,303,059 to improve habitat for elk, mule deer and other wildlife across Nevada as well as support youth hunting heritage and outdoor recreation efforts.
RMEF supplied $239,102 that leveraged $1,063,957 in partner funding.
“Two of the bigger challenges facing elk and other species in Nevada are a lack of water and expanding pinyon and junipers that crowd out sagebrush and other forage,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “This grant funding helps address those issues while also helping to restore a landscape impacted by wildfire.”
Nevada is home to 12 RMEF chapters and nearly 3,500 members.
“We would not have this grant funding if not for RMEF volunteers who plan and host fundraising banquets. To them, we say, ‘Thank you,’” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO.
Dating back to 1988, RMEF and its partners completed 295 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Nevada with a combined value of more than $29.9 million. These projects conserved or enhanced 475,137 acres of habitat and opened or improved public access to 56,361 acres.
Below is the complete list of the 2023-funded projects.
- Provide funding for the Carson City Hot Shots, a clay target recreational shooting squad for participants in grades 12 and under that learn about safe firearm handling, wildlife habitat, conservation and sportsmanship in a competitive atmosphere (also benefits Douglas, Lyon, Storey and Washoe Counties).
- Supply funding for the Lahontan Valley Claybreakers, a trap shooting team for participants in elementary school through college with an emphasis on fair play, individual responsibility, personal commitment and sportsmanship (also benefits Lyon County).
- Provide funding support for 4-H archery in the greater Carson Valley area to replace old targets and help grow the program (also benefits Carson City and Lyon County).
- Plant upwards of 74,000 antelope bitterbrush seedlings to restore wildlife habitat across 1,000 acres burned by the 2022 Wildcat Wildfire. The land in the Jarbidge Ranger District of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest serves as summer and transitional elk habitat, year-round range for pronghorn antelope and is part of a mule deer migration corridor. The work is in line with RMEF’s commitment to wildfire restoration.
- Provide funding to replace old fencing with wildlife-friendly fencing on the Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge as well as funding and volunteer manpower to build a wildlife water guzzler on land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Bristlecone Field Office in the Butte Mountains (also benefits White Pine County).
- Supply funding for the Nevada Outdoor School Youth Camps, gatherings that teach attendees outdoor skills and ethics, conservation and habitat management (also benefits Elko, Eureka, Lander, Pershing, Washoe and White Pine Counties).
White Pine County
- Selectively remove encroaching pinyon-juniper across 4,418 acres of sagebrush and mountain brush habitat managed by the BLM Bristlecone Field Office near Baker. Combined with aerial seeding, the project benefits elk, mule deer, sage grouse, other wildlife and livestock.
- Remove juniper and pinyon encroaching on springs to increase water flow and improve riparian habitat on 100 acres managed by the BLM Caliente Field Office. The land is year-round and crucial summer elk habitat. It also supplies elk calving habitat.
- Build a new and/or rebuild an existing wildlife water guzzler to increase storage capacity to 10,000 gallons to benefit wildlife on BLM Bristlecone Field Office land. The project also includes fencing to keep livestock away from the guzzler.
- Provide funding for the Nevada Society for Range Management’s Nevada Youth Range Camp. High school-aged participants learn about rangelands and natural resource management and conservation.
- Co-sponsor the Nevada Mule Deer Enhancement Summit, a gathering focusing on mule deer conservation efforts.
Project partners include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Nevada Department of Wildlife, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest and various hunting, conservation, business and civic organizations.
About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Founded more than 39 years ago and fueled by hunters, RMEF maintains more than 225,000 members and has conserved more than 8.7 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 rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.