Elk NetworkFifteen States Receive $5.6 Million for Elk Research

Conservation , News Releases | November 16, 2020

MISSOULA, Mont. — Seeking to further elk-related scientific knowledge for the overall benefit of the species, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation so far allocated $846,443 for research in 2020. Those funds leveraged an additional $4,771,734 in partner dollars.

“We need to continually accumulate all the accurate, scientific data we can in order to further our mission of ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “Supporting and working alongside respected biologists and scientists from many different state agencies, universities and other organizations across the country helps us do that.”

The funding supports 30 different research projects in Arizona (1), California (4), Colorado (4), Kentucky (1), Michigan (1), Montana (3), New Mexico (1), North Carolina (3), Oregon (2), Pennsylvania (1), South Dakota (1), Utah (2), Washington (1), Wisconsin (1) and Wyoming (4). Funding allocated to Arizona and New Mexico is for the same project. There is one additional project of national benefit.

Below are a few examples of RMEF’s 2020 research projects.

Arizona & New Mexico      

  • Elk habitat use & predation study in the Blue Range Mexican Wolf Recovery Area


  • Northern California elk population size & demographic study



  • Elk calf survival & cause of mortality study


  • Effects of ungulate browse on aspen tree stands


North Carolina                    

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park monitoring & management


  • Elk herd movement & survival monitoring


  • Elk calving timing & calf survival study

South Dakota                      

  • Black Hills elk & deer abundance, composition & fall distribution


  • Identify & protect migration corridors, priority areas & habitat ranges


  • Stemilt-Squilchuck Basin elk herd movement study


  • Determine the values of managed forest openings for elk


  • Elk & human dominated areas habituation study


  • Retrospective assessment of wildlife response to habitat treatments in the Northern Rocky Mountains

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

Founded more than 36 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of nearly 235,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 8 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. Discover why “Hunting Is Conservation™” at rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.