California granted nearly $4.6 million in conservation funding

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and its partners allocated $4.6 million in grant funding for habitat enhancement, scientific research and hunting heritage projects in California. RMEF directly granted $357,884 that leveraged an additional $4,235,446 in partner dollars

“A significant chunk of this funding goes to conserve vital habitat that serves as a transitional corridor for tule elk,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “There are also several habitat enhancement projects including one that restores wildlife water sources destroyed by the 2021 Antelope Fire as well as research to better understand elk movement and behavior.”

Eight projects positively impact Butte, Modoc, Monterey, Placer, Plumas, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Siskiyou counties. There are also two projects of statewide benefit.

California is home to nearly 11,000 RMEF members and 25 chapters.

“We have this funding and can put it back on the ground in California only because of RMEF volunteers across the state,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “We salute them and thank them for hosting fundraising banquets, membership drives and other events that ensure the future of elk in California.”

Since 1988, RMEF and its partners have completed 662 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in California with a combined value of more than $85.6 million. Those projects conserved and enhanced 199,372 acres and opened or improved access to 37,114 acres.

Plumas County
Restore functional hydrology across 4,392 acres of meadow wetlands in the upper Feather River watershed that supports elk populations in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Crews install structures that mimic the effects of beaver dams which allows the groundwater table to recover resulting in a restored floodplain and better habitat for elk and other wildlife including migratory birds.

San Luis Obispo County
Contribute funding to conserve a 5,562-acre historic working cattle ranch used by tule elk to move between the Carrizo Plains Ecological Reserve, Los Padres National Forest and other lands (also benefits Santa Barbara County).

Siskiyou County
Replace three wildlife water guzzlers in the Klamath National Forest’s Goosenest Ranger District destroyed by the 2021 Antelope Fire, a wildfire that burned more than 72,600 acres within the Klamath and Modoc National Forests. The work positively impacts 1,920 acres used by both big and small game. It’s part of a continued RMEF emphasis on wildfire restoration and active forest management as well as a larger effort to repair and/or replace non-functioning wildlife water sources across Siskiyou County.

Project partners include the Natural Resources Conservation Service; California Wildlife Conservation Board; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Klamath, Modoc and Shasta-Trinity National Forests; private landowners and various other conservation, sportsmen and civic groups and organizations.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Founded more than 37 years ago and fueled by hunters, RMEF maintains more than 225,000 members and has conserved nearly 8.4 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 rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.