Elk NetworkCalifornia Gets $1.28 Million to Support Elk, Wildlife Habitat, Hunting Heritage Efforts

News Releases | February 28, 2024

MISSOULA, Mont. — Help is on the way to bolster habitat for elk, mule deer, black bears, turkey, quail and other wildlife in California.

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and its partners allocated $1,283,263 for 20 different projects ranging from habitat stewardship and wildlife management work to hunter education and mentored youth hunts, as well as youth trap shooting, air rifle and archery teams. RMEF allocated $331,132 that leveraged $952,131 in partner funding.

“Among other things, we’re excited to support two research projects to further scientific elk knowledge. One of them places GPS collars on tule elk to monitor their movement and challenges with road barriers north of Sacramento,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “The other focuses on bull elk population dynamics, habitat use, migration corridors and survival in northern California just south of the Oregon border.”

There are 28 RMEF chapters across California.

“Hats off to our volunteers who planned and hosted RMEF banquets across the state. Thanks to their good work, we have this funding to put back on the ground in their backyards,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO.

Dating back to 1988, RMEF and its partners completed 684 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in California with a combined value of more than $87 million. Those projects conserved or enhanced 206,409 acres of habitat and opened or improved public access to 37,114 acres.

Below is a full project list and their locations.

Colusa County

  • Supply funding to place GPS collars on 20 elk, 10 on each side of State Route 20 near Cortina Ridge, along with trail cameras to document elk movement. The study builds on previous work by RMEF and its partners dating back to 2016.

Del Route County

  • Provide funding for Del Norte 4-H, a program for youth ages nine to 18 to advance their knowledge, safe handling and skills of air rifles.

Humboldt County

  • Apply a combination of conifer removal, prescribed fire and replanting native vegetation across 155 acres on the Lacks Creek Management Area, managed by the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Arcata Field Office, to improve forage for Roosevelt elk and other wildlife.

Inyo County

  • Provide funding for the Bronco Clay Buster Trap Shooting Club, a squad of students in grades six to 12 to compete against other schools in the California High School Clay Target League. Participants must have a hunter safety or a SAFE certificate and take part in safety training (also benefits Fresno, San Bernardino and San Diego Counties).

Los Angeles County

  • Supply funding for the Compton Hunting and Fishing Club’s Youth Enhancement Program Expo, an event with activities for all ages including BB gun shooting, archery, casting, first aid, firearm safety, how to obtain a hunting license and conservation.
  • Provide funding for the Compton Hunting and Fishing Club Foundation’s Youth Pheasant Hunt, a guided hunt for 20 to 25 first-time youth hunters at the historic Tejon Ranch. Participants receive training in firearm safety, hunting with dogs, trap shooting and game cleaning and cooking (also benefits Orange County).

Mendocino County

  • Supply funding to help clean up an illegal cannabis operation on private land.

Modoc County

  • Purchase and install three 1,800-gallon wildlife guzzlers in the Doublehead and Devils Garden Ranger Districts on the Modoc National Forest. The new guzzlers replace three old nonfunctioning ones that serve the East Shasta Valley elk herd and other wildlife.

San Diego County

  • Supply funding for the San Diego County Wildlife Federation to host six hunter education courses and certify more than 100 people (also benefits Imperial, Orange and Riverside Counties).
  • Provide funding for The Ranch Youth Hunt Program in Julian, a hunter safety and family camp weekend that includes a hunter safety certification course along with field dressing, archery, navigation, water purification, survival and other outdoor instruction (also benefits Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside Counties).

San Luis Obispo County

  • Provide funding to help install 10 different 2,000-gallon wildlife guzzlers and cameras to monitor their use across Camp Roberts, a California National Guard training site, to benefit elk and other species. The area is extremely arid and impacted by drought.

Santa Barbara County

  • Supply funding for third-grade science students at Calvin C. Oakley Elementary School to learn about ecosystems, animals’ role in the food chain and to take part in an outdoor writing competition.
  • Provide funding to help restore a rifle range at the Rancho Alegre Boy Scouts Camp destroyed by the 2017 Whittier Fire. Youth ages 12 to 16 use the range to learn firearm safety and to improve shooting technique (also benefits San Luis Obispo and Ventura Counties).
  • Supply funding for Cinco Campanas 4-H Archery, a program that teaches boys and girls ages nine to 18 how to safely handle, shoot and take care of archery equipment. They also learn life and team-building skills as they compete.

Siskiyou County

  • Install an 1,800-gallon wildlife guzzler on private land to serve as a water source for the Sam’s Neck elk herd and other species in the northeast part of the county where water is scarce.
  • Supply funding for research to investigate bull elk population dynamics in northern California’s Siskiyou and Northeastern Elk Management Units including the assessment of habitat use, movement, migration corridors and survival. Findings will help guide elk and habitat management (also benefits Lassen, Modoc and Shasta Counties).
  • Thin encroaching juniper trees and dead growth to improve habitat across 117 acres on private land to benefit the East Shasta Valley elk herd. Invasive weed treatment, seeding and wildlife water development will also take place.
  • Provide funding for the Yreka High School Trap Team. Comprised of youth in grades nine to 12, participants learn about firearm safety and take part in competitions.


  • Supply volunteer and funding support for the Chimineas Ranch Junior Apprentice Elk Hunt, a program that allows junior hunters to go on a tule cow elk hunt.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

Founded in 1984 and fueled by hunters, RMEF has conserved more than 8.9 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.