Posts tagged: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT — Sinlahekin Wildlife Area manager Dale Swedberg doesn't just preach the gospel of rejuvenating wildlife habitat with controlled prescribed fires — he'll let you see for yourself.
A website with an eye-opening collection of photos compares historic photos of the Sinlanhekin Wildlife Area with photos of the same locations made in recent years.
While the northcentral Washington landscape near Loomis has been improved in some ways, the most glaring observation is the increase in tree cover due to fire supression in the past 90 years. Trees are good, but too many of them clogging the landscape eliminates the habitat diversity needed by wildlife.
Fire has been around as long as life because fire depends on living things to produce the fuels fire needs to exist. A person would think that there might be some important connections developed in such a long relationship. — Dale Swedberg
Resources for learning more about prescribed burns include:
WILDLIFE — Before you launch into another week, pause for a soothing couple of minutes with wintering wildlife accompanied by Kenny G's tenor sax: Courtesy of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
HUNTING — Despite an effort and even a hint of extortion by some Montana outfitters to have him barred, television host Randy Newberg’s appointment to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s board was announced on Wednesday.
BIG-GAME — Some Montana outfitters are threatening to withdraw support from the the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation if the conservation group doesn't withdraw its nomination of national hunting TV show host Randy Newberg to its board of directors.
The outfitters contend Newberg's Sportsman Channel show, On Your Own Adventures, favors do-it-yourself hunters and puts down the services of guides.
In an email from Montana Outfitters and Guides Association to all of the RMEF board members, management and other state outfitter associations, director Mac Minard stated on Wednesday that “Outfitters from several states have expressed concern …” because Newberg “…is affiliated with, and often represents one or more organizations that some perceive to be anti-outfitting/landowner often presenting the western Outfitting Industry in a negative light.”
Minard’s email goes on to say, “(Montana based outfitters) have indicated they may withdraw donations to RMEF if the appointment goes through.”
My two cents: I'm very surprised the MOGA would take this stand against a hunter and outdoorsman who is top notch in his line of work. If anything else, a little diversity on the RMEF board would make the organization stronger. Mostly, I see this as another regrettable fracture in the ranks of sportsmen.
Read on for more details from the Gazette story:
SHOOTING — Hunters and wildlife conservation groups are finding it difficult to stay out of the nation's gun control controversies.
Even the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation felt pressure from the gun lobby to pull out of a huge sportsmen's show in the East when the show organizers prohibited exhibits by makers of AR-15 assault-style rifles.
The site of the Reed Exhibitions show in Pennsylvania is 250 miles from the site of the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Connecticut.
Click here for a localized story on RMEF and the National Wild Turkey Federation by Eric Barker of the Lewiston Tribune.
Click “continue reading” to see an Outdoor Wire industry perspective posted Jan. 25, with insight into the troubles for small outdoor businesses caused by the sportsman show boycott.
WILDLIFE ISSUES — The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has removed all references to its Olaus Murie conservation award after the researcher’s family objected to the group’s policy on wolves.
The Missoulian has the full story.
In a letter to RMEF President David Allen, Olaus Murie’s son, Donald Murie, said the organization’s “all-out war against wolves” is “anathema to the entire Murie family.”
RMEF started giving the Olaus Murie Award in 1999 and has presented it five or six times since then to standouts in the field of wildlife science. The Murie family has no involvement with funding or chosing the award.
Murie, who died in 1963, “was a renowned biologist and one of the country’s great champions of wildlife and wilderness,” according the website of the Wilderness Society, where he served as director.
Murie published pioneering research on the elk herd in Jackson Hole, Wyo., and became “an early, staunch defender of predators and their crucial role in ecosystems,” the site says.
Incidentally: Montana just authorized a 2012-2013 wolf trapping season to help beef up the hunting season that failed to take the quota of wolves sought by wildlife managers last year.
This week, within 24 hours of opening registration for the state's first wolf trapping certification course — a prerequisite to getting a wolf-trapping license — 110 people had signed up.
PUBLIC LANDS — Fires were purposely set on the Colville National Forest last week to provide two big dividends later this summer: a hedge against catastrophic wildfire and a boom in lush tender growth to feed elk.
Colville National Forest crews have completed a 320-acre prescribed fire in the Sullivan Creek drainage in northern Pend Oreille County just east of the Cascade Cut-off Road (Forest Road 2200250).
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation helped fund the effort to improve local forage for big game, reduce hazardous fuels in the forest and re-introduce fire into the ecosystem.
Read on for details.
PREDATORS — The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation wants wolves to be more aggressively managed in Montana and they’re offering state wildlife officials at least $50,000 to contract with federal trappers to kill more of the predators.
RMEF President David Allen tells the Missoulian the state isn’t using remedies allowed under the wolf management plan to the fullest.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Ron Aasheim says the agency is still considering the offer, according to the Associated Press.
Mike Leahy with Defenders of Wildlife argues that assistance from conservation organizations should further conservation, not undermine it.
Despite months of open public wolf hunting and some Wildlife Services action to kill wolves causing livestock losses, biologists estimate Montana’s wolf population grew by at least 15 percent last year compared to 2010 levels.
The state had at least 643 wolves at the end of 2011. FWP Director Joe Maurier has said the goal in Montana is about 425 wolves.
HUNTING — Elk callers from 10 states, led by Oregon, Colorado and Nevada, earned Top honors in the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation/Leupold World Elk Calling Championships for 2012.
One man from Idaho and one from Washington were in the cream of the crop.
Competition was held during the RMEF annual convention and expo, which ended Feb. 4 in Las Vegas.
Read on for the results.
CONSERVATION — I hear grumbling about state and federal agencies being proactive by buying or blocking up lowland wild areas. But listen up.
Far-sighted groups such as the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, Inland Northwest Land Trust and The Nature Conservancy are joining the cause and teaming with agencies to save some of these precious wildlife and winter range lands from future development.
As private timber companies liquidate their forests and look for the higher profit of subdividing and developing their lands, consider this quote in today's front page S-R story on the forest planning process being kicked off in North Idaho.
“You look at real estate ads these days. They say, 'Adjacent to national forest lands.' That's a selling point for people.”
Mary Farnsworth, supervisor of the Idaho Panhandle National Forests, where nearly 40 percent of its 2.5 million acres are now classified as “wildland-urban interface.”
- Spokane Spokesman-Review
CONSERVATION — On the south face of the Cabinet Mountains overlooking Lake Pend Oreille, 921 acres of elk and moose wintering range have been permanently secured for wildlife habitat and public access in a land-exchange signed Dec. 22.
The swap between Stimson Lumber Co. and the Idaho Panhandle National Forests was made possible in part by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
Formerly owned by Stimson Lumber, area has become part of the adjoining Kaniksu National Forest. In exchange, Stimson received a similar amount of U.S. Forest Service acreage in the form of small isolated tracts that are not connected to the main body of the national forest.
All of the lands involved are in Bonner County, Idaho.
Read on for information from the elk foundation:
In the news:
— Lewiston Morning Tribune
The proposed land swap in Northern Idaho that would trade 18,000 acres of U.S. Forest Service lands in three forests in Idaho for 40,000 acres owned by Western Pacific Timber in the upper Lochsa River basin had the early support of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, but the organization withdrew that support last week, citing concern of members and the expansion of the deal into elk habitat in Idaho County.
Few dispute the value of eliminating the checkerboard ownership in the upper Lochsa drainage to make it all managed by the national forests. The issue is complicated by the other scattered lands the public would have to give up in the exchange.
See more details on the Upper Lochsa Land Exchange.
Read on for the Moscow-Pullman Daily News report on the RMEF backout.
WILDLIFE CONSERVATION — Good things don't always come quick and easy.
Hunters and other conservationists are reminded of that this week as a deal closed to seal four years of negotiations by a partnership of conservation groups and state agencies. The project blocks up and protects about 10,000 acres of public land for big-game and other wildlife in the east and central Cascades.
The deal has foresight to secure the real estate elk and other critters need from winter to summer range.
But the negotiations and original purchases of land were undertaken by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and The Nature Conservancy. The land was purchased from Plum Creek Timber Company to prevent the land from being developed or subdivided as well as to maintain public access.
Read on for details from a just-issued RMEF media release a day after the final phase of the deal was closed.
WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT — Larry Carpenter, a Mount Vernon boat dealer and long-time sportfishing enthusiast, and Jay Kehne, an Omak conservationist, sheep farmer and hunter, have been appointed to vacant positions on the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission.
The commission is a nine-member panel that makes policy for the state Fish and Wildlife Department and sets rules such those for hunting and fishing seasons.
The announcedment was made today by Gov. Chris Gregoire's office.
Carpenter is likely to be a strong voice for salmon and steelhead sportfishing.
Kehne likely falls in the category of wolf advocate, considering he’s the Okanogan outreach coordinator for Conservation Northwest, but he has a well-rounded resume of credentials.
Here's some insight from a “Living with Wolves” program report by Scott Sandsberry of the Yakima Herald-Republic.
During his 31-year career with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, Kehne’s worked to provide conservation assistance to farmers and ranchers. He’s worked with conservation easements involving counties as well as the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Kehne is the replacement for Spokane’s George Orr, who retired from the commission at the end of his term a year ago.
CONSERVATION — Although the discussion on the state's wolf plan caught most of the attention last week, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission also made a major land acquisition after years of support and negotiations facilitated by The Nature Conservancy and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
The purchase of 7,711 acres of wildlife habitat in Kittitas County is another testament to the benefits of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program that was proposed for huge cuts in last year's legislative session.
This purchase concludes the second phase of the “Heart of the Cascades” project that adds over 10,000 acres to WDFW’s 47,200-acre Oak Creek Wildlife Area. The plan helps “block up” public land to protect big game habitat from winter ranges all the way up to summer ranges.
Last year, 2,675 acres were acquired in the Bald Mountain/Rock Creek area, about 25 miles northwest of Yakima on the east slope of the Cascade Mountains. This year’s acquisition involves purchase of 3,807 acres from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) for $2,325,000 and 3,904 acres from Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) for $2,317,000.
Funding for the new acquisition comes from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, through a Habitat Conservation Plan grant.
Ranging from 2,500 to 6,000 feet in elevation, the property has a wide diversity of habitats, including coniferous forests, basalt cliffs, shrub-steppe and riparian areas. It supports many federal- and state-protected species, including spotted owls, bull trout and steelhead, as well as many game species, including elk, bighorn sheep and mountain goats.
The property will be managed with support from TNC, RMEF and the Tapash Sustainable Forest Collaborative—a coalition of public, non-profit and tribal land managers—to share the estimated $123,500 annual operation and maintenance costs.
WILDLIFE – Three hunting groups are supporting the state of Oregon in a lawsuit trying to overturn state authority to shoot wolves that attack livestock, the Associated Press reports.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the Oregon Hunters Association, and the Oregon chapter of the North American Wild Sheep Foundation have all asked the Oregon Court of Appeals to allow them to file friend of the court briefs supporting the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Conservation groups are trying to overturn a department order to kill two wolves from the Imnaha pack that have been blamed for livestock attacks in northeastern Oregon.
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation says in a statement that elk herds are struggling to survive in places wolves have been reintroduced.
Conservation groups counter climate change and habitat are more likely causes than wolves.
WILDLIFE HABITAT — Elk research at Mt. St. Helens and habitat improvements on four national forests and other public lands in Washington headline a just-announced slate of projects selected for 2011 grants from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
The far-east side of the state isn't overlooked, with prescribed burn habitat improvement projects set for Asotin, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties.
The new RMEF grants total $156,380 with an impact on up to 100,000 acres, officials said. The money usually is leveraged with money from other groups or agencies for more benefits on the ground
Read on for more details.