Elk NetworkHunting IS Conservation – Reintroducing Fire on a Fire Dependent Landscape

Conservation | June 13, 2018

Seeking to reintroduce beneficial fire to a fire-dependent ecosystem following 120 years of fire suppression, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation partnered with the Santa Fe National Forest on two prescribed burns in New Mexico.

RMEF provided funding to assist the landscape-scale project plan to eventually burn more than 100,000 acres of important elk and winter deer winter range.

Additional benefits include improved habitat niches such as openings, snags, maintenance of hiding cover and an increase in quality and quantity of browse and forage, as well as reducing the susceptibility of catastrophic wildfire and improving overall forest health.

Although the funds were originally awarded in 2015 to burn three units, none of the work came into prescription during the allotted time, however RMEF provided the flexibility needed by the U.S. Forest Service to act quickly when the weather conditions were more favorable, which eventually took place.

More than 95 percent of RMEF’s 227,000 members are hunters. 

Funded and supported by hunters, projects like this one highlight how Hunting Is Conservation.