MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation awarded $205,092 in grant funding to enhance wildlife habitat and bolster hunting heritage programs in the state of Arizona.
The grants will directly benefit 24,602 acres in Apache, Coconino, Greenlee, Maricopa, Navajo, Pima, Santa Cruz and Yuma Counties. There is one project of statewide benefit.
“One of the great challenges in the backcountry of the desert Southwest is to find water,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “These grants will assist in the improvement or repair of nearly three dozen individual water sources for elk and other wildlife.”
Allen thanked RMEF volunteers and members in Arizona who generated the funding through banquets, membership drives and other activities. He also thanked members and volunteers from across the nation for their dedication to conservation, elk and elk country.
Since 1986, RMEF and its partners completed 428 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Arizona with a combined value of more than $31.1 million. These projects protected or enhanced 348,039 acres of habitat and opened or secured public access to 21,585 acres.
Here is a sampling of Arizona’s 2015 projects, listed by county:
Apache County—Provide drinker trough extensions to improve accessibility for wildlife (especially antlered bulls and bucks) on six water tanks situated on 3,840 acres of Arizona State Trust Lands; and carry out prescribed burning on 1,321 acres northwest of the Greens Peak area within the Springerville Ranger District on the Apache National Forest to improve wildlife habitat and restore meadow conditions on summer range and transition areas.
Coconino County—Thin pinyon and juniper from 800 to 1000 acres where they are encroaching into former grasslands and savannahs in the White Hill area of the Williams Ranger District and Watts area of the Tusayan Ranger District on the Kaibab National Forest.
Maricopa County—Provide financial and volunteer support for an effort to remove more than 10 tons of trash from the popular Table Mesa Recreation Area north of Phoenix.
Navajo County—Remove silt as a result of the 2002 Rodeo-Chediski Wildfire from 18 dirt tanks in Game Management Units 3C and 4B within the Black Mesa Ranger District on the Sitgreaves National Forest.
Statewide—Provide funding for a joint effort to plan youth camps in 2015 and 2016 to teach youth, novice hunters, and others about skinning, archery shooting, predator calling, turkey calling demonstrations, hunter mentorship, tracking and big game field dressing and handling as well as other skills.
Go here to see a full listing of RMEF’s 2015 projects in Arizona.
Partners for the Arizona projects include the Apache-Sitgreaves and Kaibab National Forests, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Bureau of Land Management, private landowners, and various sportsmen, civic and other organizations.
About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Founded over 30 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of more than 205,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 6.7 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 or 800-CALL ELK.