As part of an effort to protect wildlife habitat, including the restoration of land burned by wildfires, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) and its partners recently allocated $1,064,039 for grants across Washington state.
“The Lick Creek and Silcott Wildfires burned more than 50,000 acres in Asotin County alone in 2021, detrimentally impacting critical habitat for elk, mule deer, bighorn sheep and other wildlife,” said Blake Henning, chief conservation officer for the RMEF. “This funding will address invasive weed growth, replant native vegetation and replace fencing and water developments across 2,500 acres. This effort supports our previously announced $1 million wildfire restoration commitment.”
The RMEF donated $315,875 in funds in addition to $748,164 donated by its partners. The grants support 14 habitat enhancement and hunting heritage projects across 13 counties as well as four statewide projects. Projects supported by RMEF’s donations include “invasive weed treatment in the Blue Mountains, improving elk habitat in the South Fork Skokomish River watershed, replacing dilapidated fencing with wildlife-friendly fencing in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and several mentored hunting opportunities,” according to a statement released by the group.
“We thank our members and especially recognize our volunteers who plan and host banquets and other events to raise this crucial funding,” said RMEF President and CEO Kyle Weaver.
The RMEF was founded over 38 years ago and has conserved almost 8.4 million acres for elk and other wildlife. The group has over 225,000 members and works to improve public access, fund and advocate for science-based resource management and ensure a future for America’s hunting heritage.