Monday, February 6th, 2023
Monday, February 6th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

MO: Foundation awards MDC $35,000 grant for elk restoration

JEFFERSON CITY Mo – The Missouri Conservation Heritage
Foundation (Foundation) recently approved a grant request from the
Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) for $35,000 towards the
Department’s elk restoration plan. The grant was approved at the
Foundation’s Feb. 25 board meeting and will help fund costs related
to elk trapping, holding, disease testing, research, monitoring and
transportation.

MDC has been working with the Kentucky Division of Fish &
Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) to trap and hold elk from eastern
Kentucky. The agencies are currently conducting extensive disease
testing on the several dozen elk that will form the core of
Missouri’s restored elk herd. Following a 90-day quarantine period
in Kentucky, the elk will be transported in late April or early May
to a 346-square-mile restoration zone in Southeast Missouri
covering parts of Carter, Reynolds and Shannon counties. The zone
has extensive public lands, minimal agricultural activity and low
road density. The elk-restoration plan includes provisions for
protecting Missouri wildlife and livestock from elk-borne disease
and for dealing with elk that wander outside the zone onto land
where they are not welcome.

“We are very grateful to the Missouri Conservation Heritage
Foundation for its support of our elk restoration efforts, and for
its long-standing support of numerous conservation efforts in
Missouri,” said MDC Director Bob Ziehmer. “Partnerships between
government and citizen conservation groups, such as the Foundation,
make it possible to achieve things beyond our separate means. It is
a model that has proven successful time and again and is
responsible for Missouri’s — and America’s — greatest
conservation success stories.”

The Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization created in
1997 to meet financial demands placed on Missouri’s natural
resources. Its mission is to advance the conservation and
appreciation of Missouri’s forest, fish and wildlife resources by
matching financial resources with the priorities of donors, the
Foundation and the MDC. The Foundation receives funding from the
Stream Stewardship Trust Fund along with funding from Conservation
Heritage license plate sales, grants and individual
donations.

Board Chairman Chris Nattinger explained that MDC staff apply for
Foundation funding for projects they initiate or that they endorse
on behalf of partner groups. These projects address priority
conservation and outdoor recreation needs. The Foundation board of
directors oversees funding decisions and is comprised of
conservation, community and business leaders.

“The Foundation is pleased to be able to help MDC restore elk to
Missouri,” said Nattinger.

“This magnificent animal is part of our natural heritage, and we
think that the public as well as the ecosystem will benefit by
bringing elk back to Missouri.”

Since 1997, the Foundation has provided more than $11 million for
conservation and outdoor recreation. In 2010 alone, it funded 33
projects through more than $1.35 million in grants.

In addition to the Foundation grant, the Rocky Mountain Elk
Foundation has pledged $300,000 for Missouri’s elk-restoration
program and the Appalachian Wildlife Foundation has pledged
$50,000.

For more information on the Foundation, visit www.mochf.org.

For more information on MDC’s elk restoration efforts, visit
www.missouriconservation.org.

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