Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund Grants $125,000 for Mule Deer Foundation Conservation Projects
The Mule Deer Foundation announced today that it was awarded a $125,000 grant from the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund for on-the-ground conservation projects in six states through the organization’s Migration Corridors and Winter Range Initiative. The funding will be used for habitat enhancement projects in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Washington, and Wyoming that were identified by states in response to Department of the Interior Secretarial Order 3362, Improving Habitat Quality in Western Big Game Winter Range and Migration Corridors. The Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund grant will help leverage the volunteer capabilities of MDF state chapters as well as match funding from agencies and partners for fencing removal and modifications, spring developments to improve riparian areas, juniper removal, and other important habitat restoration efforts. MDF will be working with partners to complete these projects this summer, within state social distancing guidelines.
“The Mule Deer Foundation appreciates the funding from the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund for these projects that will make important improvements to benefit our western mule deer populations,” said MDF President/CEO Miles Moretti. “The projects that we identified in our proposal take advantage of MDF’s boots on the ground chapters and close proximity to Bass Pro or Cabela’s stores, as well as our partnerships with private landowners and state fish and wildlife agencies. Each project will resolve challenges identified by the states in their SO3362 State Action Plan and make a big difference for mule deer.”
“The Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund activates more than 200 million passionate sportsmen and women who ‘round up’ their purchases at our stores to help advance conservation. The Mule Deer Foundation’s leadership on the conservation of big game migration corridors and winter ranges, coupled with their strong volunteer chapter network, will ensure these priority projects will benefit mule deer and many other wildlife species,” commented Bob Ziehmer, President, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund.
The projects funded through the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund grant agreement are intended to support the implementation of Secretarial Order 3362 and will be located in priority migration or winter range areas identified in SO3362 State Action Plans. One project will work with a coalition of organizations, landowners, and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) to replace miles of woven wire “sheep” fencing in migration corridor and winter range habitat in the Crooked Creek Valley along the southern end of the Beaverhead Mountains in eastern Idaho. The project is within the Big Desert – Mountain Valley Complex, one of the five priority areas identified by the IDFG for migrations and winter range in Idaho’s SO3362 State Action Plan. The area is home to over 5,000 migrating mule deer, thousands of pronghorn, a core sage-grouse population, and a small population of bighorn sheep. Another project in eastern Montana will modify fencing on a private ranch along the Musselshell River, a SO3362 State Action Plan priority area. The recent grant will augment funds raised at local MDF chapter events that were designated for this project through the organization’s state chapter rewards program. Also included in the project list is a spring development project on private land in south central Wyoming, supporting the Baggs mule deer herd that migrates between Wyoming and Colorado; a juniper removal project in Nevada; protecting mule deer from entrapment in irrigation canals within the Columbia River Basin in south central Washington; and migration data analysis for GPS collared mule deer in western Colorado.
“From the start, the intent of MDF’s Migration Corridors and Winter Range Initiative was to increase the amount of work done to benefit deer with the help of our partners. This grant and the resulting projects are prime examples of that intent in action.Steve Belinda, MDF’s director of conservation programs.
“MDF is looking forward to working with the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund to continue to make a difference on the ground for our mule deer populations. From the start, the intent of MDF’s Migration Corridors and Winter Range Initiative was to increase the amount of work done to benefit deer with the help of our partners. This grant and the resulting projects are prime examples of that intent in action,” concluded Steve Belinda, MDF’s director of conservation programs. “We encourage MDF members and partners to keep an eye out for future communications that spotlight these important conservation projects and our partnership with Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s local stores.”
The Mule Deer Foundation is the only conservation group in North America dedicated to restoring, improving and protecting mule deer and black-tailed deer and their habitat, with a focus on science and program efficiency. MDF is a strong voice for hunters in access, wildlife management and conservation policy issues. MDF acknowledges regulated hunting as a viable management component and is committed to recruitment and retention of youth into the shooting sports and conservation. Get involved in your state or become a member at www.muledeer.org or call 1-888-375-3337.