Lance Shelvan, Elk Foundation of Utah
Funding for a variety of Utah projects will benefit the state's elk population.

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has announced it is giving 23 grants for 2008 toward projects in Utah.

The grants total $210,450. Grants will go to projects in Beaver, Carbon, Daggett, Duchesne, Emery, Millard, San Juan, Sanpete, Summit, Tooele, Uintah, Utah and Weber counties.

Another $37,785 will be available for allocation in additional grants later this year.

"This is all about ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat in Utah," said David Allen, foundation president and CEO. "Grants are based on revenues from Elk Foundation auctions and raffles for Utah special hunting permits, our fund-raising banquets across the state and worthy project proposals."

The grants will help fund the following Utah conservation projects:

• Beaver County — Thin trees and shrubs in upland areas and restore riparian vegetation to improve 4,000 acres of habitat for elk, other wildlife and fish on Bureau of Land Management lands.

• Carbon County — Enhance winter range for elk by thinning conifers to reduce competition with forage species in the Horse Bench area.

• Daggett County — Treat cheatgrass in abandoned agricultural fields and reseed native vegetation for elk, mule deer, moose, bighorn sheep, pronghorn and sage grouse on Brown's Park; prescribe burn 4,000 acres to improve forage in the Marshall Draw area.

• Duchesne County — Restore sagebrush and mountain brush communities to improve habitat for elk, mule deer and sage grouse on Ashley National Forest; remove encroaching conifers to enhance forage on Tabby Mountain Wildlife Management Area.

• Emery County — Thin pinyon and juniper to improve elk forage and reduce risk of catastrophic wildfire on the Manti-La Sal National Forest; thin encroaching conifers on 850 acres to improve forage for elk and livestock south of Hiawatha.

• Millard County — Prescribe burn, treat and reseed 630 acres of elk winter range on BLM lands north of Scipio; reseed grasses by air over burn area on Fishlake National Forest; remove pinyon and juniper on 1,000 acres of elk winter range on Fishlake National Forest.

• San Juan County — Treat encroaching pinyon and juniper to improve forage for elk and other wildlife on BLM lands in the Shay Mesa area.

• Sanpete County — Thin 1,200 acres of encroaching pinyon to restore sagebrush, grasses and forage for elk and other wildlife on Six Mile Wildlife Management Area; restart plant succession to enhance winter range on 900 acres on Twelve Mile Wildlife Management Area.

• Summit County — Remove encroaching juniper and noxious weeds to improve elk/mule deer winter range on 150 acres in Grass Valley Ranch area; thin conifers and reseed native grasses on Henefer-Echo Wildlife Management Area.

• Tooele County — Restore native forbs, grasses and browse species for elk, mule deer, sage grouse and other wildlife on BLM lands in the Ibapah area.

• Uintah County — Treat cheatgrass and reseed native vegetation to improve forage for elk in the BLM Vernal District; remove cheatgrass and drill-seed grasses on BLM lands in the McCook Ridge area; restore 310 acres of grasslands on BLM lands in the Book Cliffs area.

• Utah County — Diversify oak/maple forest age structure and elk forage availability on 1,000 acres on Uinta National Forest; treat noxious weeds on Uinta National Forest.

• Weber County — Prescribe burn, treat and reseed 700 acres for elk, mule deer and sharp-tailed grouse on Middle Fork Wildlife Management Area.

Since 1984, the Elk Foundation and its partners have completed more than 240 conservation projects in Utah, with a value of more than $22 million. Partners for 2008 projects in Utah include Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, other agencies, landowners and organizations.