North Dakota Elk Habitat, Hunting Heritage Gets Boost from RMEF

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MISSOULA, Mont.— The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and our partners awarded $197,340 of grant funding in North Dakota to benefit habitat stewardship and hunting heritage projects. RMEF directly granted $38,170 and leveraged an additional $159,170 in partner funding.

Seventeen projects benefit Barnes, Bottineau, Burleigh, Cavalier, Dickey, Eddy, Foster, Kidder, LaMoure, Logan, McIntosh, McLean, Morton, Ransom, Richland, Rolette, Sargent, Stutsman, Towner, Ward, Wells and Williams Counties.

“Invasive weeds crowd out native grasses and forbs that are vital to elk and other wildlife. This funding, in part, helps treat noxious weed growth across a 329-square mile project area,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “The grants also assist a number of different youth archery, shooting sports and other outdoor-related groups and events.”

North Dakota is home to 11 RMEF chapters and nearly 4,000 members.

“We salute and thank our volunteers for their time, talents and dedication to raise this funding that is put back on the ground in their home state,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO.

Since 1991, RMEF and its partners completed 231 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in North Dakota that protected or enhanced 56,011 acres with a combined value of $11.6 million and opened or improved public access to 33,148 acres.

Below is a sample of North Dakota’s 2019 projects, listed by county.

Burleigh County

  • Provide funding for Women On the Wing, a series of events that introduce women to the skills necessary to become successful upland bird hunters. Participants receive opportunities to learn and practice wing-shooting, test skills, develop relationships and learn about wildlife habitat.

Cavalier County

  • Treat 8,672 acres to manage the spread of noxious weeds choking out native vegetation on public and private lands in the Pembina Gorge region. The multi-phase project began in 2012 and targets an overall area of 211,000 acres of habitat benefitting elk, deer, moose and other bird and animal life. Weed reduction will also improve livestock grazing conditions and crop yield.

Foster County

  • Provide funding for the Wildlife and Habitat Land Use Young Hunter Program offered by the Central Dakota Sportsmen’s Club which provides instruction to boys and girls in archery, shotgun and rifle shooting. Youth attend weekly shotgun shooting events with no cost for shells and targets and may qualify for a first experience hunt for ducks, geese, pheasants or deer (also benefits Eddy, Stutsman and Wells Counties).

North Dakota project partners include the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, private landowners and various conservation, sportsmen and business 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 7.6 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 rmef.org, elknetwork.com or 800-CALL ELK.