(ROCKY MOUNTAIN ELK FOUNDATION PRESS RELEASE)
Wildlife conservation projects in 12 Oregon and 17 Washington counties have been selected to receive grants from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation in 2010.
In the Beaver State, funding totaling $153,500 will affect Benton, Crook, Curry, Deschutes, Douglas, Grant, Harney, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Union and Wallowa counties.
In the Evergreen State, $186,270 will go towards projects in Asotin, Chelan, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Jefferson, King, Kittitas, Lincoln, Pacific, Pierce, Pend Oreille, Skamania, Spokane, Stevens, Whitman and Yakima counties.
RMEF president and CEO David Allen said the grants are possible because of the successful banquets and fundraisers staged over the past year by volunteers in Washington and Oregon, “most of whom are elk hunters as well as devoted conservationists.”
Since 1984, RMEF annual grants have helped complete 433 different projects in Washington with a combined value of more than $101 million, 633 different projects in Oregon with a combined value of more than $36 million, he says.
RMEF grants will help fund the following projects, listed by county:
Asotin County, Wash.: Reduce decadent grasses and improve elk forage by prescribed burning 932 acres in the Dry Fork area of Umatilla National Forest; use herbicide to treat noxious weeds on 995 acres and re-seed native grasses on 200 acres in the Lower Grande Ronde River corridor; treat noxious weeds scattered throughout 60,640-acre Blue Mountains Wildlife Area Complex (also affects Garfield and Columbia counties); treat noxious weeds on 300 acres in the Grande Ronde River breaks to improve native forage and encourage elk to use public lands rather than private-land hayfields to the north; treat 250 acres of invasive weeds as part of an early detection rapid response program; treat 425 acres of weeds in the Snake River canyonlands; treat 200 acres of noxious weeds in the Meyer Ridge area.
Crook County, Ore.: Thin 575 acres of juniper encroachment in meadows and aspen stands, treat noxious weeds on 160 acres, and restore riparian habitat along 2 miles of stream in the Deep Creek area of Ochoco National Forest; hand-cut and burn 400 acres of encroaching juniper in the Maury Mountains area of Ochoco National Forest.
Curry County, Ore.: Prescribe burn 129 acres, and re-seed native grasses on 20 acres, to maintain forage areas for elk and other wildlife in the Wildhorse Prairie area of Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.
Deschutes County, Ore.: Thin conifer from willow and aspen stands, prescribe burn 15 acres and treat noxious weeds on 5 acres in Tumalo Creek area of Deschutes National Forest.
Douglas County, Ore.: Create 20 acres of forage openings and plant shrubs on 93 acres to improve 113 acres of habitat for elk in the Umpqua National Forest.
Ferry County, Wash.: Prescribed burn 550 acres of elk winter range to reduce hazardous fuels and improve grasses, forbs and shrubs in Colville National Forest.
Grant County, Ore.: Rehab 100 acres of meadow habitat used by foraging elk and deer in the Rudio Mountain area; thin encroaching conifer to restore 150 acres of meadow in the Logan Valley area of Malheur National Forest; remove juniper to promote sagebrush and bitterbrush growth on 1,235 acres in the Murderers Creek area of Malheur National Forest and state lands; re-seed native grasses on 880 acres in the Chrome Ridge area; thin 270 acres, construct fencing around 2 acres of aspen stands, treat noxious weeds and reconstruct two springs in Ochoco National Forest.
Harney County, Ore.: Enhance habitat for elk and other wildlife by repairing wildlife drinking stations, collecting native shrub seeds, reseeding habitat areas and employing livestock practices to control noxious weeds in the Egley wildfire area of Malheur National Forest; thin encroaching conifer on 160 acres, replace fencing around aspen stands and develop five ponds or wildlife drinking stations in the Pine Creek area of Malheur National Forest.
Kittitas County, Wash.: Provide funding for Green Dot Access Management Program projects managed by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (also affects Chelan, King, Jefferson, Pierce and Yakima counties).
Lane County, Ore.: Improve forage for elk by removing encroaching conifer and noxious weeds to restore 283 acres of meadows in Willamette National Forest; treat noxious weeds and re-seed native grasses on 100 acres, and rejuvenate browse on 102 acres, in the Foley Ridge area of Willamette National Forest; thin and prescribe burn 112 acres and re-seed native grasses in the Chucksney and Grasshopper meadows area of Willamette National Forest; prescribe burn 56 acres, plant oak seedlings on 40 acres, and re-seed native grasses on 200 acres in the Jims Creek area of Willamette National Forest; mechanically treat noxious weeds and re-seed native grasses on 500 acres in the Siuslaw National Forest (also affects Benton, Douglas and Lincoln counties).
Linn County, Ore.: Remove encroaching trees from meadow complexes used year-round by foraging elk in the Lodgepole Flats area of Willamette National Forest; create 40 acres of forage openings in the Yellowstone Creek area of BLM lands.
Pacific County, Wash.: Improve forage for elk, dusky Canada geese and other wildlife by treating noxious weeds, cultivating, applying lime, fertilizing, seeding and mowing on 200 acres at Chinook Wildlife Area.
Pend Oreille County, Wash.: Enhance meadow habitat for elk by thinning 96 acres of encroaching forest and installing fencing to protect aspen stands in the Pend Oreille Valley area of Colville National Forest; prescribed burn 200 acres to improve forage in the Upper Middle Fork of Calispell Creek area of Colville National Forest; rejuvenate browse species by prescribed burning 90 acres in the Lost Creek area of Colville National Forest.
Skamania County, Wash.: Thin encroaching conifers on 617 acres to promote forage for elk and other wildlife in the Wind River area of Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
Spokane County, Wash.: Capture and radio-collar 20 elk for a research project to study elk movement patterns and habitat use in response to a new hunt program at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge (also affects Whitman and Lincoln counties).
Stevens County, Wash.: Prescribed burn 200 acres to reduce conifers and improve grassland habitat for elk in Colville National Forest.
Union County, Ore.: Control noxious weeds, re-seed native grasses and develop water sources for elk and other wildlife on 705 acres near Ladd Marsh Wildlife Management Area.
Wallowa County, Ore.: Treat 828 acres of noxious weeds to improve forage for elk along the Grande Ronde and Imnaha river corridors (also affects Union County).