Wyoming receives $7.2 million for conservation work


The Rocky

Mountain Elk Foundation and its partners

awarded $7,256,274 of grant funding in

Wyoming to enhance wildlife habitat, sci-

entific research and hunting opportunities,

including a project in Sublette County.

RMEF directly granted $340,471 and

leveraged an additional $6,915,803 in

partner funding.

“This is a monumental amount of funding

that will help Wyoming’s elk as well

as a myriad of other species,” said Kyle

Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “We

are grateful for our partners in standing

beside us to carry out this vital conservation

work. And we especially recognize

and thank our RMEF volunteers who

freely give of their time and talents to

raise funds to put back on the ground in

Wyoming. We could not do what we do

without them.”

There are 22 RMEF chapters and nearly

9,000 members in Wyoming.

In all, 33 projects benefit 46,465 acres

of habitat across Albany, Big Horn, Campbell,

Carbon, Converse, Johnson, Laramie,

Lincoln, Fremont, Hot Springs, Natrona,

Park, Sheridan, Sublette, Sweetwater,

Teton, Uinta and Washakie counties. One

of the projects is of statewide benefit.

“These projects address everything

from combating invasive weeds and helping

rejuvenate shrubs, aspen and riparian

areas to erecting wildlife-friendly fencing,

carrying out prescribed burns, thinning

forests and providing funding to increase

public access, assist with four research

projects and permanently protect habitat,”

said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation

officer.

In Sublette County, the RMEF provides

funding for a conservation easement to

permanently protect approximately 2,700

acres of elk habitat west of Big Piney. The

property is also important to moose and

contains a portion of Fish Creek, a tributary

to the Upper Green River.

Other Wyoming projects include:

• In Bighorn and Sheridan counties,

funds will help treat 10,000 acres for

invasive weeds in the Medicine Wheel

and Tongue River ranger districts on the

Bighorn National Forest. Backpack and

horseback spraying units will be used to

treat difficult-to-access backcountry areas

including elk winter range and calving

grounds.

• In Park County, funding was provided

for a study to improve the understanding

of elk calving in the Cody herd. Researchers

map calving areas to determine

whether they are consistent or variable

between years and validate new methods

for identifying calving areas based on GPS

movement data. The findings will help

wildlife and land managers seek to better

protect habitat.

• Statewide, funding supports and expands

Access Yes, a program that allows

public access to private land in Wyoming.

RMEF’s contribution equates to approximately

46,500 acres of access. Wyoming

project partners include the Wyoming

Game and Fish Department, Bridger-

Teton, Caribou-Targhee and Shoshone

national forests, Bureau of Land Management,

private landowners and universities

as well as conservation, sportsmen, business

and other groups and organizations.

Founded more than 36 years ago, fueled

by hunters and a membership of nearly

235,000 strong, RMEF has conserved

more than 7.9 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.

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