RMEF Grants Enhance Michigan’s Wildlife Habitat, Hunting Heritage
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and its partners awarded $87,630 of grant funding to benefit conservation and hunting heritage efforts in Michigan. RMEF directly granted $29,425 and leveraged an additional $58,205 in partner funding.
“Michigan sports a strong and vibrant hunting lifestyle. This grant funding assists several different programs and events around the state that opens up many opportunities for youth to enjoy the outdoors. A chunk of it also goes toward a project aimed at improving habitat for elk, deer, turkeys, and other wildlife,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “We are grateful for our dedicated Michigan volunteers who generated these funds by hosting banquets and other activities.”
There are 15 RMEF chapters and more than 6,300 members in Michigan.
Since 1990, RMEF and its partners completed 161 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Michigan with a combined value of more than $5.4 million. These projects protected or enhanced 5,977 acres of habitat and opened or improved public access to 877 acres.
Below is a listing of Michigan’s 2019 projects, shown by county.
·Provide funding for the Outdoor Discovery Center’s introductory and intermediate archery classes for youth and adults in western Michigan. RMEF grant funds help purchase bows, arrows, and targets (also benefits Kent, Muskegon, and Ottawa Counties).
·Restore 121 acres of forage openings on the Pigeon River Country State Forest, the core of Michigan’s elk range, by removing brush and trees, pulling autumn olive out by the roots and tilling and planting a mix of buckwheat and white clover followed by rye. The four-year goal is to improve habitat for elk, white-tailed deer, wild turkey, and other wildlife.
·Provide funding for teenagers in Grand Blanc High School to learn and compete in team-based shooting sports focused on the safe handling and use of firearms through the Scholastic Clay Target Program. RMEF funds help with the purchase of equipment (also benefits Lapeer County).
·Provide funding for the Grindstone-Port Hope Sportsmen Club’s Youth Outdoor Day. The free event focuses on getting boys, girls, and their families outside to introduce them to conservation and sporting activities, including hunting, fishing, and trapping. RMEF funds help pay for July 25, 2020, event promotion, scholarships, and prizes (also benefits Sanilac and Tuscola Counties).
·Provide funding for the Michigan Youth Hunter Education Challenge, a two-day event that educates and promotes hunter and firearm safety, and skill development. Participants take part in archery, .22 rifle, muzzleloader, and shotgun shooting in simulated hunting conditions while also competing in wildlife identification, orienteering, and hunter responsibility. RMEF funds help cover program promotion, range fees, and participant drawstring backpacks.
·Provide funding for the Academy of Natural Resources, a workshop for teachers hosted by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. RMEF funds help provide books for part of the workshop focusing on elk management.
Project partners include the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and various conservation, sportsmen, business, and civic organizations.
Founded over 30 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of nearly 235,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 7.4 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.