Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Minnesota Elk Herds Hit Highest Numbers in more than 65 Years

April 26, 2007

Minnesota Elk Herds Hit Highest Numbers in more than 65 Years

Elk Foundation Donates $55,000 to Ensure Future of Elk In Minnesota’s Tallgrass Aspen Parkland

Thief River Falls, Minn. – Winter elk surveys conducted by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in 2006 show two elk herds that are healthy and growing, according to results announced at a recent Project Advisory Committee (PAC) meeting of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation in Minnesota.

“Just as exciting, Minnesota DNR held an elk hunt for the second consecutive year where two beautiful 6 x 6 bulls and one cow were harvested, “noted MN Volunteer District Chairman Kevin Cook. “In 2007 we are currently on pace to set a fundraising record in Minnesota which will mean more funds will be available to fund conservation projects in 2008.”

Elk Foundation Regional Director Ralph Cinfio III says, “This goes to show that the Elk Foundation and our partners are doing great things to ensure the future of elk in Minnesota, that we can restore and enhance habitat and conserve more land. To date, the Elk Foundation and its partners have spent more than $750,000 in this state to benefit elk and other wildlife, like sandhill cranes, sharp-tailed grouse and moose that live on the tallgrass prairie.”

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation dedicates more funding for 2007
At its spring PAC meeting, the Elk Foundation approved funding for a variety of conservation projects in Minnesota, ranging from prescribed burns, food plots and upland brush management.

The Elk Foundation funded over $55,000 that will impact nearly 5,300 acres of Minnesota’s primary elk range. Project proposals came from DNR, The Nature Conservancy and other Elk Foundation partners. Over $9,000 from the Elk Foundation still remains to fund conservation education and hunting heritage projects in Minnesota.

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation funds permanent land protection in Minnesota
The Elk Foundation State Leadership Team also committed $6,420 in funding to the Great Lakes Conservation Initiative. The Great Lakes states of Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin each contain elk herds ranging from 120 to over 1000 animals. Due to the presence of those herds, each state is presented with growing opportunities to successfully conduct permanent land protection projects as well as stewardship of both public and private lands. The primary objective of the Great Lakes Conservation Initiative is long-term protection and stewardship of the lands within each state’s elk range. Each state has a clearly defined elk range in which the Elk Foundation can focus our efforts to ensure that each project undertaken by the GLCI will have a direct and long-lasting benefit to local elk populations.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Founded in 1984, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has conserved or enhanced nearly 5 million acres – an area more than twice the size of Yellowstone National Park. The organization has more than 150,000 members, and 10,000 volunteers. Working together these impassioned conservationists are on track to restore elk to long-empty native ranges, and ensure an elk country legacy for future generations. To learn more, visit www.elkfoundation.org or call 1-800-CALL ELK.