Torstenson Family Endowment Benefits Elk, Elk Country and Hunting Heritage
MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation distributed nearly $1.7 million in Torstenson Family Endowment (TFE) funding in 2014 toward its mission priorities of permanent land protection, habitat stewardship, elk restoration and hunting heritage.
“We are forever grateful to Bob Torstenson and his family for allowing RMEF to establish this endowment,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “The TFE allows us to make an immediate and impactful difference in elk country while also providing multiple avenues for us to help spread Bob’s passion for hunting and the outdoors to the next generation.”
TFE funding helped finalize seven different projects in Idaho, Montana, New Mexico and Pennsylvania that permanently protected 3,808 acres of elk habitat and opened or secured access to 67,622 acres for hunters and others to enjoy. The endowment also provided funding for elk restoration, research and habitat enhancement projects in 13 states. In addition, the TFE provided funds for a wide range of hunting heritage outreach projects reaching thousands of youth and adults in more than 17 states.
Here are a few highlighted TFE-funded projects from 2014:
Virginia Elk Restoration— Completed a multi-year project to restore wild elk to Virginia after the third and final group of 45 wild elk arrived from Kentucky in 2014. They joined an existing herd of approximately 40 elk previously relocated in 2012 and 2013.
RMEF Youth Membership Knives—Provided 8,000 knives and youth memberships to Illinois and Wisconsin for distribution at hunter education classes.
Clearwater Basin Elk Nutrition Study (Year 2)—Study and model development monitoring elk responses to landscape restoration of early seral habitat in north-central Idaho where elk populations have been declining steadily during the past three decades.
Medicine Lodge - Kate Creek & Ayers Canyon Road Access Easement—RMEF teamed up with a private landowner, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, and local sportsmen groups to purchase a road access easement that secures permanent public access to approximately 41,344 acres of public lands in southwest Montana.
North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area Foraging Habitat Enhancement—Use mechanical clearing and seeding to create and enhance 42 acres of forage habitat on Gunsight Mountain and in Bear Wallow Hollow for Tennessee’s growing elk herd, with the goal of reducing elk pressure on adjacent private lands.
Woodring Farm (Vollmer) Acquisition—RMEF teamed up with the Pennsylvania Game Commission to purchase and conserve 81 acres of prime elk habitat located in the heart of the Pennsylvania elk range.
Go here for a complete listing of TFE-funded projects in 2014.
RMEF uses proceeds from the TFE solely to further its core mission programs of permanent land protection, habitat stewardship, elk restoration and hunting heritage.