RMEF Colorado Conservation Project Receives Funding Boost


Below is portion of a news release from the Department of Interior.

The Department of the Interior and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) announced $11.8 million for 10 projects in seven states that will help restore habitat connectivity and secure key migration corridors for wildlife in the American West. A total of $3 million in grants and $8.8 million in matching contributions will be invested to protect migratory species like elk, mule deer, and pronghorn and their habitats in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Wyoming.

“Healthy habitats and interconnected spaces to live and roam are key for the sustainability of species,” said Secretary Deb Haaland.

Protecting Migration Corridors via the Wolf Mountain VII Conservation Easement 

Grantee: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

Grant Amount: $100,000

Matching Funds: $1,977,882

Total Project Amount: $2,077,882

Conserve vital aspen woodlands, sagebrush, and riparian habitat, as well as a migration corridor and pathway for two of Colorado’s largest migratory herds. Project will permanently protect approximately 1,630 acres of migration corridors for elk and winter range for mule deer, secure habitat connectivity through the valley bottom and highly developable lands near State Highway 40, protect five stream miles, and support a host of other wildlife, including greater sage grouse.

Go here for more information.

(Photo credit: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation)

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Prescribed Burn Enhances Montana Wildlife Habitat


A 200-acre prescribed burn is planned for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ Threemile Wildlife Management Area (WMA) located northeast of Stevensville in the Bitterroot Valley, beginning the week of April 1.

The objectives of the prescribed burn are to enhance wildlife habitat and reduce fuel loads.  The burn is expected to occur from now through mid to late April, and residents and visitors should expect to see smoke periodically.

Prescribed fire is a short disturbance for long-term benefits of fuel reduction and wildlife habitat enhancement on the WMA, and this particular project was proposed as part of phase 2 of the Threemile WMA forest habitat work, approved by the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission in 2019.

Specific project objectives are focused on enhancing forage for big game wildlife, restoring open forest conditions dominated by ponderosa pine, and reducing fuel loading.  The treatment is aimed at creating a condition that would allow fire to burn at a low severity appropriate for the habitat type, reduce susceptibility to bark beetle infestations, and promote aspen growth and regeneration.

The project is a cooperative effort between FWP, the Bitterroot National Forest, and the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. Funding for this habitat management work was provided by FWP and grants through the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Smoke from Threemile WMA will be visible from many places in the Bitterroot Valley, including from Highway 93. The project is weather dependent, but burning is expected to start this week with most complete prior the end of April.

Spring is a typical time for prescribed burns to occur region-wide, so recreationists and residents could expect to see smoke from other public lands as well. To minimize smoke impact on communities, the exact timing of the burns will depend on weather, fuel moisture levels, and air flow.

(Photo credit: Bitterroot National Forest)

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