Elk NetworkProtecting, Enhancing Elk Habitat in Nevada

News Releases | January 2, 2008

January 2, 2008

Protecting, Enhancing Elk Habitat in Nevada

MISSOULA, Mont.—Its conservation efforts in Nevada have helped protect or enhance an area larger than Las Vegas, Henderson, Reno and Sparks combined, but the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation says its work is far from over.

“Thanks to our volunteers, members, donors and partners, we’ve positively impacted 259,753 acres – more than 400 square miles – of elk habitat in Nevada. It’s a conservation effort worth over $11.9 million. And in a state that’s growing as fast as Nevada, that value could be exponentially higher in the not-too-distant future,” said David Allen, president and CEO of the Elk Foundation.

The Elk Foundation has been key to several of Nevada’s recent conservation highpoints.

It facilitated creation of the Eastern Nevada Landscape Coalition, a community partnership to help the Bureau of Land Management restore over 12 million acres of public land in the Great Basin. It helped acquire and open to the public the 6,440-acre 3C Ranch south of Ely, now called the Steptoe Valley Wildlife Management Area. And it collaborated on the acquisition of land and reintroduction of elk to the 4,725-acre Howard Ranch in the Jarbidge Mountains of Elko County.

Through 2007, the Elk Foundation and its partners completed 155 different conservation projects in Nevada – with more in the works – in land protection, habitat enhancement, wildlife management, research, conservation education and more.

The Elk Foundation will celebrate these accomplishments as part of its 24th Annual Elk Camp & Hunting, Fishing and Outdoor Expo, Feb. 21-24, at the Reno/Sparks Convention Center. For more information, visit www.elkfoundation.org.

New projects for 2008 will be announced by spring.

Here’s a sample of ongoing and completed projects in Nevada, by county:

Clark County

  • Spring Mountains National Recreation Area – Habitat conservation project to protect water sources and fragile riparian habitat used by many wildlife species such as desert tortoise, aquatic species, songbirds and more.

    Elko County

  • Bear Paw Spring – Fencing project to exclude livestock from fragile riparian habitat.
  • Bruneau River – Noxious weed treatments to improve habitat for elk and other wildlife.
  • Eastern Elko County – Water development project to install guzzlers for elk and deer, reducing conflicts between livestock and wildlife.
  • Goose Creek Elk Management Area – Research project to determine browsing habits of elk and deer.
  • Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest – Noxious weed treatments to improve habitat for elk and other wildlife; fencing project to exclude livestock from fragile riparian habitats.
  • Spruce Mountain – Seeding project to improve forage and habitat for elk, deer and antelope.

    Humboldt County

  • Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest – Seeding project to improve forage and habitat for elk and deer.

    Lincoln County

  • Cave Valley – Habitat restoration project to benefit mule deer, elk, bighorn sheep, antelope, sage grouse, songbirds and rare or endangered aquatic species.
    Muleshoe Valley – Water development project to repair guzzlers for elk, deer and antelope; seeding project to improve forage and habitat for elk and deer.

    Nye County

  • Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest – Prescribed burning project to increase forage for elk and deer.

    White Pine County

  • Blue Mass Scenic Area Landscape Project – Restoration project to remove pinion and juniper, and improve sagebrush/steppe and riparian habitats on some 13,000 acres.
  • Cattle Camp Wash Springs – Habitat rehabilitation project to restore fragile riparian areas.
  • Duck Creek Basin – Elk relocation project to capture and move 100 elk to end conflicts with livestock operation.
  • Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest – Water development project to install guzzlers for elk and deer, and brush mowing project to rejuvenate sagebrush and bitterbrush to improve forage for elk and deer.
  • Indian Creek Land Acquisitions – Cooperative land protection project to permanently protect private in-holdings within designated wilderness areas.
  • Kern Mountains – Aspen restoration project to improve habitat for elk and other wildlife.
  • Mokemoke Mountains – Water development project to install guzzlers for elk, deer, antelope and bighorn sheep.
  • North Antelope Valley – Research project to determine best methods for removing cheat grass.
  • Schell Creek Landscape Conservation Plan – Aspen restoration, noxious weed treatment and pinion/juniper control projects to improve habitat for elk and other wildlife. These projects are part of the giant Great Basin Initiative affecting 2 million acres.
  • Ward Mountain – Sagebrush, aspen and high-elevation conifer restoration projects on 120,000 acres of federal and tribal lands. These projects will restore native ecosystems and treat wildland/urban interface sites.

    Elk Foundation partners in these projects have included Barrick Goldstrike Mines Inc., Bureau of Land Management, Eastern Nevada Landscape Coalition, Elko Bighorns Unlimited, Environmental Protection Agency, Ducks Unlimited, Mule Deer Foundation, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Nevada Division of Agriculture, Nevada Department of Forestry, Nevada Department of Transportation, Nevada Division of State Lands, Nevada Division of Wildlife, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Nevada Bighorns Unlimited, Nevada Cattlemen’s Association, Nevada Chukar Foundation, Newmont Gold Company, Placer Dome Gold Company, Safari Club International, Society of Range Management, Soil and Water Enhancement Action Team Coalition, Trout Unlimited, University of Nevada, U.S. Forest Service, Westmont Gold Inc., Wildlife Habitat Improvement of Nevada, and Wildlife Management Institute.