Mule Deer Foundation Awarded over $300,000 for Migration Corridor Initiative Work in Idaho
Salt Lake City, UT: The Mule Deer Foundation was awarded over $300,000 in grant funding through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to work with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) to improve and restore habitat in mule deer migration corridors and seasonal ranges. The grant provides MDF the funding to hire a coordinator to identify, plan, coordinate, and complete projects identified in the Secretarial Order 3362 (SO3362) Idaho State Action Plan. MDF and IDFG will match the NFWF funding with more than $500,000 of cash and in-kind volunteer work. Goals include improvement of fencing and wildlife passages, and enhancement or restoration of habitat on thousands of acres of public and private land.
“The grant through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation will allow us to expand our partnership with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and make a difference for important mule deer habitat,” commented MDF President/CEO Miles Moretti. “Idaho has a rich history of mule deer hunting and the habitat improvements that are made under this grant will go a long way to preserving this tradition.”
“We’re excited to be working with MDF to collaboratively implement strategies we’ve identified in our State Action Plan,” stated Matt Pieron IDFG Mule Deer Initiative Coordinator. “This position will enable us to continue to work with partner agencies like the BLM, USFS, USFWS, and Idaho Transportation Department to do good things for Idaho’s mule deer and other migratory big game.”
The grant is part of NFWF’s Improving Habitat Quality in Western Big Game Winter Range and Migration Corridors program that is administered in collaboration with the Department of the Interior, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and ConocoPhillips. The program was established two years ago as a result of Secretarial Order 3362 to conserve critical winter range and migration corridors that maintain healthy populations of pronghorn, elk, and mule deer, and the phenomenon of big game migration. The shared coordinator position will be focused on making sure that projects are completed on the ground that will improve some of Idaho’s most important mule deer and big game migration corridors and seasonal habitats.
“We greatly appreciate the Department of the Interior, NRCS, and ConocoPhillips for stepping up and providing substantial funding through NFWF for migration corridor habitat improvements,” said Steve Belinda, MDF’s director of conservation programs. “MDF is looking forward to hiring the Idaho State Action Plan Coordinator so that we can work with IDFG to fully implement the habitat projects that they have identified in their SO 3362 action plan and beyond.”
For more information about mule deer conservation in Idaho, listen to Season 3, Episode 8 of the MDF Talking Mule Deer Podcast, which was released earlier this week.
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.