Idaho Elk Habitat Gets $233,000 Upgrade

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MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation provided $233,726 in grants to fund 22 habitat stewardship and hunting heritage projects in Idaho.

“There are many places in Idaho’s backcountry where overly thick forests and noxious weeds are taking a toll on forage and habitat,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “This funding allows managers to pay for and implement on-the-ground treatments that benefit elk, deer and a wide range of other wildlife.”

The projects positively impact 26,339 acres of wildlife habitat across Adams, Bear Lake, Blaine, Bonner, Bonneville, Boundary, Camas, Cassia, Clearwater, Elmore, Franklin, Gooding, Idaho, Kootenai, Latah, Lincoln, Minidoka, Owyhee, Shoshone, Teton and Valley Counties. There are also three projects of statewide benefit.

“We are grateful to our dedicated volunteers who raised this funding by hosting banquets and other events,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “Without them, this habitat work would not take place.”

RMEF has more than 9,000 members and 16 chapters in Idaho.

Since 1985, RMEF and its partners completed 554 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Idaho with a combined value of more than $80.1 million. These projects protected or enhanced 487,600 acres of habitat and opened or improved public access to 24,817 acres.

Here is a partial listing of Idaho’s 2019 projects, shown by county:

Blaine County

  • Treat noxious weeds as well as plant sagebrush and bitterbrush and seed grass across 600 acres within the Baugh, Fisher ad Porcupine drainages in the Little Wood River area on the Sawtooth National Forest. The region burned in the 2018 Sharps wildfire and provides year-round and especially critical winter range for elk and other wildlife.

Cassia County

  • Prescribe burn 2,442 acres in the Albion Mountains on the Sawtooth National Forest to improve aspen health and restore summer habitat for elk, mule deer, moose and a myriad of other wildlife species.

Gooding County

  • Plant 125,000 Wyoming big sagebrush across approximately 5,000 acres on BLM land in the Twin Falls District impacted by the 2018 Dog Creek wildfire.

Idaho County

  • Provide funding to monitor roads and motorized trails in the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest to identify vehicles/users per day and elk vulnerability during spring calving, summer foraging, fall hunting and winter. The information will help guide future decisions regarding where best to focus future habitat efforts (also benefits Clearwater, Latah and Shoshone Counties).

Idaho project partners include the Caribou-Targhee, Idaho Panhandle, Nez Perce-Clearwater and Sawtooth National Forests, Bureau of Land Management, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and civic, business and sportsmen organizations.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

Founded 35 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of nearly 235,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 7.5 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, elknetwork.com or 800-CALL ELK.