The Mule Deer Foundation (MDF) was awarded a $270,000 grant to rent a habitat partnership coordinator within the Dakota Grasslands area by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s (NFWF) Northern Great Plains program. The new full time employees place inside MDF will work with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), North Dakota Game and Fish, South Dakota Game, Fish, & Parks, Montana Fish, Wildlife, & Parks, and Wyoming Game and Fish Department in addition to trade and conservation companions. The companions will match the grant funding stage by in-kind volunteer work, donated use of heavy tools, and different current habitat restoration funds. Led by the devoted MDF employees coordinator, the companions will improve alternatives to implement conservation tasks to restore habitat for mule deer, sage grouse, pronghorn, and different wildlife within the Dakota Grasslands undertaking space of western North Dakota, jap Montana, northwestern South Dakota, and northeastern Wyoming.
“In the previous 5 years the Mule Deer Foundation in North Dakota has been initiating tasks with personal landowners and bringing in companions from trade and volunteer workforces. As a outcome, 25 miles of fence have been eliminated or modified to wildlife pleasant designs, and in 2021 a undertaking to scale back juniper encroachment affected over 1,500 acres of habitat,” mentioned MDF Director of Conservation Steve Belinda. “The Dakota Grasslands habitat partnership coordinator might be our first conservation employees particular person with an emphasis on the jap vary of mule deer, which is dominated by personal land with intermixed federal and state lands. We are excited in regards to the potential with federal, state, and personal landowners on cross-boundary tasks that enhance the crucial mixed-grass ecosystems discovered within the undertaking space.”
The Dakota Grasslands is a key focal space for NFWF’s Northern Great Plains program and consists of grasslands and sagebrush dominated habitats which are extremely productive for pronghorn, mule deer, sage grouse, and quite a few different grassland and sagebrush obligate species. State and federal company companions have highlighted the necessity for cross-agency, associate coordination and planning for cumulative efforts to happen within the area. MDF’s Dakota Grasslands habitat partnership coordinator will present crucial new capability to community throughout state, federal, tribal, and personal lands to implement landscape-scale habitat conservation within the area. Priority tasks will embody grassland habitat restoration by conifer removing, cheatgrass management/eradication, rangeland fireplace restoration, grazing administration, and fencing modifications. Riparian restoration actions will deal with restoring moist meadow or riparian areas by structureplacement (e.g., Zeedyk buildings and beaver mimicry) and habitat enhancements.
“Mule Deer Foundation chapters and companions have been energetic within the Dakotas for a number of years, organizing volunteer workdays to modify fencing to wildlife-friendly designs, take away invasive junipers, and restore riparian areas,” mentioned Marshall Johnson, MDF’s director of area operations who additionally leads MDF’s efforts within the Dakotas. “Having an MDF habitat partnership coordinator on this area who can take the lead on growing and implementing these tasks in coordination with our current companions will considerably improve the quantity of labor we are able to get performed collectively. This will profit mule deer but additionally lots of of different species that depend upon our native grasslands.”
The Mule Deer Foundation is the one conservation group in North America devoted to restoring, bettering and conserving mule deer and black-tailed deer and their habitat, with a deal with science and program effectivity. MDF is a robust voice for hunters in entry, wildlife administration and conservation coverage points. MDF acknowledges regulated searching as a viable administration element and is dedicated to recruitment and retention of males, ladies and youth into the taking pictures sports activities and conservation. Get concerned in your state or change into a member at www.muledeer.org or name 801-973-3940.