MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation awarded $73,410 in grants to fund 30 wildlife habitat and hunting heritage projects across 44 counties in Pennsylvania.
“Pennsylvania is home to some prime elk habitat but some of it also needs treatment to stimulate the growth of new forage that benefits a wide range of wildlife. This grant funding will make some of that work possible,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “Additionally, we allocated funds to support youth camps, archery and shooting clubs, and other programs that increase conservation and hunting education and outreach.”
The grants fund projects in Allegheny, Beaver, Bedford, Berks, Blair, Bradford, Butler, Cambria, Cameron, Centre, Chester, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Crawford, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Elk, Erie, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lawrence, Lebanon, Mercer, Montour, Montgomery, Northumberland, Perry, Philadelphia, Potter, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Venango, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Westmoreland and Wyoming Counties. There are also three projects of statewide benefit.
“We value and appreciate our volunteers who spend a lot of time and effort to host successful banquets, membership drives and other events that generate this funding so it can be put back on the ground in Pennsylvania and across elk country,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO.
RMEF has more than 13,000 members and 35 chapters in Pennsylvania.
Since 1991, RMEF and its partners completed 486 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Pennsylvania with a combined value of more than $25.9 million. These projects protected or enhanced 27,140 acres of habitat and opened or improved public access to 10,189 acres.
Below is a sampling of Pennsylvania’s 2019 projects, listed by county:
- Create 57 acres of new herbaceous openings and improve 484 acres of existing openings to provide early successional habitat beneficial to elk and other wildlife on State Game Lands 14, an area that is 90 percent mature forest.
- Convert eight acres of reclaimed strip mine lands on the Sproul State Forest to high quality forage by planting to a mix of white clover, timothy, big blue stem, partridge peas, purple top, crimson clover and black-eyed Susan.
- Maintain 120 acres of existing herbaceous openings, convert another 25 acres of opened canopy areas into herbaceous habitats and convert 60 acres of mature aspen into early successional aspen habitat on the Susquehannock State Forest.
- Provide funding to support the Wildlife Leadership Academy which empowers high school students from across the state, selected for their academic performance, community service experience and interest in wildlife biology and conservation, to become ambassadors for wildlife conservation. The program includes five-day summer field schools, year-round mentoring, service projects and other activities.
Pennsylvania project partners include the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and a wide range of sportsmen, civic and business organizations as well as private individuals.
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 www.rmef.org, elknetwork.com or 800-CALL ELK.