July 13, 2020

Kentucky’s Elk, Hunting Heritage to Benefit from RMEF Grants

MISSOULA, Mont.–Funding research to monitor the health, survival and recruitment of elk, as well as providing sponsorship of multiple hunting heritage events are the focus of grants from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation for the state of Kentucky.

The RMEF grants total $87,600 and directly affect 22 counties: Anderson, Bell, Breckinridge, Breathitt, Bullitt, Carter, Daviess, Fayette, Franklin, Jefferson, Knott, Laurel, Letcher, Madison, Meade, Mercer, Oldham, Perry, Scott, Shelby, Spencer and Woodford. RMEF also provided funding for several programs of statewide and national benefit.

“Kentucky is a shining example as one of the nation’s most successful elk reintroductions. It is imperative we continue to monitor the health and behavior of this thriving elk population, and that’s exactly what this RMEF funding will do,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “We are also pleased to sponsor a variety of activities that will enrich Kentucky’s hunting tradition.”

Since 1995, RMEF and its partners completed 100 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Kentucky with a combined value of more than $6.7 million.

“We have more than 1,500 RMEF members in Kentucky. We thank them and our dedicated volunteers who raised the money for these projects thanks to their banquet fundraising and membership drive efforts,” added Allen.

Allen also thanked RMEF chapters and volunteers around the nation for their dedication to conservation all across elk country.

RMEF grants will help fund the following 2013 projects, listed by county:

Breckinridge County–Provide funding to purchase archery equipment for the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) at Saint Romuald School (also affects Meade County).

Bullitt County–Provide funding for Zoneton Middle School to establish a NASP program for boys and girls in grades six through eight. Students will have the opportunity to practice, refine and develop archery skills, and compete in local meets.

Carter County–Provide funding to help purchase equipment for the East Carter High School NASP archery team.

Daviess County–Provide funding to purchase air rifles and equipment to enhance the Daviess County High School National Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps program.

Fayette County–Provide funding to repair equipment and purchase supplies for the Tates Creek High School archery team.

Franklin County–Provide sponsorship of an archery camp at Frankfort’s Cove Spring Park for youth ages 8-18 following the NASP format (also affects Anderson, Mercer, Scott, Shelby and Woodford counties); and provide funding to help purchase more equipment for Capital Day School to expand NASP to more students.

Jefferson County–Provide funding to offset the cost of purchasing bows and targets for Valor Traditional Academy to form an archery team which will compete in NASP and Scholastic 3D sanctioned tournaments (also affects Bullitt County); and co-sponsor an event aimed at introducing women to shooting sports including archery, rifle, shotgun and handgun skills at the Fern Creek Sportsman’s Club (also affects Fayette, Franklin, Letcher, Oldham and Spencer counties).

Knott County–Provide funding for an elk collaring and tracking study to reassess cow elk survival and cause-specific mortality in the 16-county elk zone of southeastern Kentucky. The project will also assess the survival and recruitment of elk calves to provide data to best manage the herd of 10,000-plus through the next decade (also affects Bell, Breathitt and Perry counties).

Laurel County–Provide funding to purchase equipment for the expanding NASP program at Wyan Pine Grove Elementary School, which now offers afterschool service.

Letcher County–Provide funding for Letcher County Kids Day, which features games, entertainment and food for the entire family.

Madison County–Provide funding to help Foley Middle School promote proper land and wildlife conservation by purchasing equipment for under-privileged children to participate in the NASP and 3D shooting programs.

Statewide–Provide funding to cover the cost of monitoring for Chronic Wasting Disease of Kentucky’s elk herd, previously paid for by federal funding; co-sponsor the 10th Annual NASP National Tournament held in Louisville; provide partial scholarships for 30 disadvantages youth to attend a Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources Conservation Camp; provide funding to offset expenses and purchase supplies for two wounded warrior hunts for injured servicemen and women (also has nationwide benefits); and provide funding for the Kentucky Chapter’s annual gathering of The Wildlife Society.

Conservation projects are selected for grants using science-based criteria and a committee of RMEF volunteers and staff along with representatives from partnering agencies. RMEF staff and volunteers select education projects to receive grants. RMEF volunteers and staff select hunting heritage projects to be funded.

Partners for 2013 Kentucky projects include the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, University of Kentucky, and other wildlife, volunteer and business organizations.


Idaho Wolf Management Receives Boost from RMEF Grant

MISSOULA, Mont.–Idaho Fish and Game (IDFG) accepted a $50,000 grant from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to assist with its wolf management plan.

The funds will increase IDFG’s knowledge of interactions between wolves and elk, and expand the radio collar program to help managers gain a better understanding of pack and territory size, home range, and other biological traits and actions of the wolf in order to better implement effective management techniques.

“To properly and effectively carry out science-based management practices, it is critical that state agencies recognize and understand predator-prey relationships and wolf populations,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO.

“This grant will help IDFG gain a more thorough knowledge of wolves and wolf behavior so it can better implement its approved predator management plan.” “This grant is another example of the outstanding support we’ve received from RMEF and elk hunters for nearly 30 years”, said Brad Compton, IDFG assistant chief of wildlife. “This grant is particularly important because it comes at a time when federal funding is being incrementally eliminated, thus allowing us to continue to maintain our active wolf monitoring and management program. Idaho’s program is designed to reduce conflict, including addressing unacceptable levels of predation on elk populations.”

In keeping with the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, RMEF supports state-regulated hunting and trapping as the preferred tools of wolf management. RMEF staunchly supports management to balance and control wolf populations.

“We maintain our longstanding commitment to and support of the goal of state management which is to sustain all wildlife species in balance with the available habitat and the local communities where so many of us live,” added Allen.

RMEF also remains committed to learning more about wolves through research efforts. Since 1989, RMEF invested nearly $664,000 in research grants to advance scientific understanding of wolves, wolf interactions with other species, and overall wolf management. The total includes more than $200,000 in science grants in just the past five years. Most of the contributions paid for independent research by leading universities, state and federal wildlife conservation agencies and tribes.

“A key part of RMEF’s mission is to ensure the future of elk and other wildlife,” said Allen. “This grant helps Idaho managers do that by helping them determine how many wolves are out there, where they travel and what effect they have on elk, deer and other ungulates.”

RMEF previously awarded 2013 grants to Montana and Wyoming to assist with wolf management in those states.

RMEF will allocate nearly $2.9 million for elk and wildlife-related conservation projects in 27 states with wild, free-ranging elk populations in 2013. Additionally $570,000 will also be allocated to hunting heritage programs in 49 states.


RMEF to Fund Conservation Projects in 12 Oregon Counties

MISSOULA, Mont.–Improving forage quality and quantity for elk and other wildlife is the focus of 2013 grants from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation for the state of Oregon. The grants total $215,790 and directly affect Benton, Douglas, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Tillamook, Union, Wallowa, Wasco and Yamhill Counties. RMEF is also funding a hunting heritage project of statewide interest.

“These projects cover a wide spectrum of actions that will enhance habitat across Oregon’s elk country,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “Forest thinning, prescribe burns, seeding and planting native grasses, noxious weed treatments, and restoring aspens will positively affect nearly 4,200 acres.”

Since 1985, RMEF and its partners completed 724 different conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Oregon with a combined value of more than $43.6 million.

“The funds for these projects are a testament to the passion and dedication of our RMEF volunteers in Oregon. They raise money through their membership drives and banquet fundraising, which stays on the ground in their home state. To them we say, ‘Thank you!'” said Allen.

Allen also thanked RMEF chapters and volunteers around the nation for their dedication to conservation all across elk country.

RMEF grants will help fund the following 2013 projects, listed by county:

Douglas County–Burn 200 acres to reduce understory tree density in the Coffin Butte area on the Umpqua National Forest and create 12 new acres of forage openings in the Diamond Lake Ranger District to address declining Roosevelt elk populations.

Klamath County–Thin 205 acres and burn 1,100 acres of previously thinned acreage as part of a five-year project to enhance habitat for elk and other wildlife in the Fremont-Winema National Forest (FWNF); remove lodgepole pine on 90 acres and plant 5 acres of hardwoods to restore meadows on the Deschutes National Forest; remove small trees and burn 79 acres to promote native grass and forbs in a Roosevelt elk calving area south of Crater Lake National Park.

Lake County–Thin conifers and junipers from 158 acres in the Drews Creek watershed on the FWNF as part of a five-year plan to restore aspen stands and improve elk forage and calving habitat; and thin 198 acres of aspen stands and meadow habitat in the Upper Scyan Watershed on the FWNF (also affects Klamath County).

Lane County–Carry out prescribe burning, noxious weed treatments and other efforts on 230 acres of the Willamette National Forest (WNF) to increase forage quality for Roosevelt elk and deer; enhance 199 acres via seeding, planting browse shrubs, herbicide treatments, and installing holding tanks and plumbing at two ponds to enhance water availability during the dry season on Foley Ridge in the WNF; burn, cut, seed and prevent weed growth to benefit summer range and calving areas on 85 acres of habitat on Upper and Lower Murphy Meadow on the WNF; remove noxious weeds and seed native grasses on 79 acres along a power transmission line corridor on the WNF; and improve quality of grass, forb and brush habitat on 505 acres by removing blackberry vegetation and small trees plus treatment of noxious weeds on the Siuslaw National Forest (also affects Benton, Douglas and Lincoln counties).

Linn County–Implement a combination of thinning, burning, browse cutback and seeding and planting of native vegetation to enhance 64 acres of summer meadow habitat for Roosevelt elk in the west Cascade Mountains. The work also includes adding slash to log jams to improve water availability for elk in the WNF.

Statewide–Host 4-H camp at Lake Creek Youth Camp to introduce youth to careers in natural resources by interacting with professionals in hydrology, forestry, range, wildlife, fisheries, fire science, shooting sports and other fields.

Tillamook County–Noxious weed treatment applied to 156 acres of meadows in the Siuslaw National Forest. The work also includes mowing, weedeating and mulching to benefit Roosevelt elk herds (also affects Lincoln and Yamhill counties).

Union County–Thin 300 acres to decrease conifer cover and increase forage on elk summer range on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.

Wallowa County–Thin conifers from 330 acres of historic meadows to improve forage quality and quantity for 400 elk on crucial winter range near Troy.

Wasco County–Burning of underbrush on 80 acres on the Seven Mile/Rowena Plateau in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area with noxious weed treatment on 45 acres to follow to improve habitat for elk and other wildlife.

Conservation projects are selected for grants using science-based criteria and a committee of RMEF volunteers and staff along with representatives from partnering agencies. RMEF staff and volunteers select education projects to receive grants. RMEF volunteers and staff select hunting heritage projects to be funded.

Partners for 2013 Oregon projects include the Deschutes, Freemont-Winema, Siuslaw, Wallowa-Whitman and Willamette national forests, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and other government, state, wildlife and volunteer organizations.


Background Checks for Scientists

Guest post by Jim Beers

(An article written recently for The Pen, the newsletter of Common Sense Coalition Talk Radio program out of California, Missouri.)

As the debate on requiring background checks for gun sales rages, I submit that background checks should be mandatory for scientists that sell their research to government bureaucracies.

A recent news article in The Washington Post (of all places) describes a former scientist at Johns Hopkins University that became embroiled in the controversy over growing scientific research retractions coinciding with the competition for available government grant dollars.

The tainted and slanted research that was going increasingly unquestioned, concerned cancer drugs and genetic relationships. The scientist found that questioning results based on incomplete testing and ignoring applicable factual references resulted in his being disciplined, his eventually being fired and the suicide of a colleague asked to verify the unverifiable science purported to be reliable.

The number of research articles retracted in the field of biomedical research has increased “tenfold since 1975”. Two thousand of these retracted scientific papers were reviewed and it was determined that “67% were attributable to misconduct, mainly fraud or suspected fraud”. While government grant availability has increased since the 1960’s, when 2 out of 3 requests were funded: today only one out of 5 requests are funded. Because jobs and funding for the researchers are really what is on the line today, shoddy and cheap “science” to give government grant administrators what they want is the only guarantor of future funding preferences.

If potentially human life-threatening aspects of cancer drugs relative to the genetics of those afflicted with cancer can be misrepresented, what is sacred anymore? Eventual lawsuits by wealthy families suspecting misuse of drugs or malpractice as the cause of losing a loved one might well punish these “scientists” publishing misleading and self-serving results. Yet these charlatans are evidently not deterred. If this is so, what about all the environmental/animal “rights” “science” purchased by government since “the 1960’s”?

When “science” tells us that logging “must” be stopped; or grazing is “bad”; or hunting “unbalances the environment”; or predators “balance” the environment; or “native” species “belong” everywhere; or dams “must” be removed; or roads “disturb” grizzly bears; or fatal attacks by predators are the “fault” of those killed; or lethal control of predators is “ineffective”; or pipelines “disturb” species X; or sage grouse are “in danger”; or bats are “disappearing”; or wildfires are “good”; or Sanctuaries and Wilderness are “beneficial”; or that only more federal jurisdiction over water or more federal land ownership or easement control of private property will do X, Y, and Z: other than pandering for more federal funding, what possible down side is there for unscrupulous ”scientists”?

When federally-protected grizzly bears kill hikers, no scientist or bureaucrat is responsible. Ditto when wolves decimate big game herds and force ranchers out of business and diminish the quality of rural life. Ditto when logging communities are decimated and unmanaged forests result in fewer and fewer of the critters supposedly saved by eliminating logging. Ditto when federal lands are closed to use and roads and access only to burn down and kill neighbors while their homes and belonging are destroyed. All the faulty environmental/animal “rights” “science” since “the 1960’s” has bred a national nightmare to rival the corruption of human life-saving biomedical research that has become less and less reliable.

Until and unless the federal-influence spigot to Universities and research organizations is turned way down or off, corruption is inevitable. The spigot won’t be turned off until the US Congress stops funding and writing laws that imagine laws and regulations that are triggered by or act only upon “science”. Think Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, Animal Welfare Act, Wilderness Act, and other such laws that absolve all involved humans of any responsibility while pointing always to “science” as the reason and trigger for un-Constitutional and anti-human actions by a government of men supposedly bounded by a Constitution. This is an especially important matter for rural Americans today.

The federal laws will not be amended or repealed until we elect federal legislators that respect the Constitution and have our best interests at heart. Federal Legislators will not do the right thing until State Legislators and Governors stand their ground (think Wyoming and wolves as a role model here). State Legislators and Governors with our best interests at heart come from Local elected officials like Commissioners, Supervisors and Sheriffs. The time to get this food chain going is right now. I won’t repeat that old Chicago canard about “voting early and often” but I will say we have to vote and vote for this aspect of our lives and liberty. Letting bureaucrats and “scientists” rule us is akin to letting Druid priests read bones or Shamans stare into smoke as a basis for national decisions. As Dirty Harry once remarked about his boss’s breath mint “it ‘ain’t’ cutting it”

Jim Beers

13 March 2013
Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC. He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands. He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC. He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority. He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.

Jim Beers is available to speak or for consulting. You can receive future articles by sending a request with your e-mail address to: jimbeers7@comcast.net