MISSOULA, Mont. Several projects will be done in Grant and Harney counties with grant funds awarded by Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to enhance wildlife habitat.
This year, emphasis for grants was on projects that help Oregon biologists better predict habitat nutrition levels and elk population responses, and on efforts to restore shrinking aspen and meadow areas.
In Grant County, funds will help rehabilitate 100 acres of meadow habitat used as winter range by a regional herd of 600-800 elk, mule deer and other wildlife in the Rudio Mountain area.
On the Malheur National Forest, 91 acres in the Murderers Creek Wildlife Management Unit will be enhanced to improve aspen and meadow habitat. The work will include removal of conifers, construction of enclosure fencing, and removal of encroaching juniper on 1,235 acres of forage habitat.
On Ochoco National Forest lands, the grant money funds improvement of hardwood forest habitat by thinning, prescribed burning and treating of weeds in the Hardscrabble Ridge area. A variety of methods will be used to restore understory browse and shrubs in the Willow-Pine area.
On the Umatilla National Forest, 800 acres of weeds and invasive plants will be treated in the Monument area.
Harney County gets funds for slash and burning to remove encroaching juniper and promote recovery of mountain mahogany, aspen and native grasses used by elk and other wildlife in the Otis Mountain-Moffit Table area on Bureau of Land Management lands.
BLM lands in the Silvies and Wagontire areas will receive maintenance on seven guzzlers that are used regularly by wildlife for watering sources.