Restoring Elk Country – Washington’s Olympic Peninsula

(country music) – Washington’s Olympic Peninsula is among the most green, lush landscapes in the entire United States. But that’s not necessarily a good thing for the Roosevelt Elk that live there. The rainforest climate
produces plenty of vegetation but the specific plant types
lack key proteins and minerals. Plus many forest stands
are overly thick and dense, largely due to decades
of fire suppression. Along with past temper harvest practices that produced an abundance
of even aged stands. All that translates into very little or poor nutritional forage for Elk, Blacktail Deer,
and other wildlife. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation provided funding for a recent project aimed at improving habitat on
national forest system lands in the upper sitkum watershed on the northwest side of the peninsula. That’s where crews created openings across 200 acres of young,
densely stocked forest stands by thinning trees to allow sunlight to reach the forest floor below. They stacked the slash
into piles thus created habitat for small mammals,
amphibians and reptiles. Crews then spread native
grass, forb, and shrub seed on the bare floor, that not only improves
habitat for songbirds and even insect pollinators
like bees and butterflies, but it creates nutritional forage for Elk. And it prevents the spread
of invasive, non native plants and weeds. Our RMEF’s habitat work
on the Olympic Peninsula dates back to 2002. Since then, more than a
quarter million dollars in RMEF funding leveraged
nearly 1.3 million dollars more in partner funding from
the Olympic National Forest and Washington Department
of Fish and Wildlife, among others, to carry out 31 projects
across nearly 20 thousand acres of Roosevelt Elk habitat. These projects range from
noxious weed treatments, to meadow restoration, to travel management
within sensitive habitats. The fetalization providing
plants with essential nutrients diluted from the soil by rainfall. Restoring Elk country is court RMEFs manage lands initiative. Since 1984 the Rocky
Mountain Elk Foundation and its partners put in 7.5 million
acres of wildlife habitat. (country music)

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