SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Mule Deer Foundation President and CEO Miles
Moretti announced today that MDF has once again put over $1.5 million
dollars on the ground in 2009 to enhance and conserve mule deer and
black-tailed deer habitat throughout the western United States. The
money was raised through the sale of state wildlife auction and
raffle tags, local fundraising banquets, along with corporate and
private donations. Despite the economic downturn, MDF has been able
to exceed project funding goals for 2009.
Projects funded vary from water developments and habitat improvement
projects to the purchase of land to be conserved for mule deer and
other wildlife. Moretti said, “The number one goal I had for MDF when
I took over the reins in 2006 was to increase MDF’s presence in
funding habitat projects for mule deer. We have worked with State and
Federal agencies, other conservation groups and private landowners to
make that happen.”
In 2009, several projects highlight the organization’s commitment to
funding projects that make a difference. MDF, in partnership with the
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, purchased the Allan Smith
Property in Eastern Utah. The purchase of these 5,700 acres protects
a critical migration corridor between summer and winter range for
mule deer and elk. The property also contributes critical winter
habitat for mule deer, elk and sage grouse. MDF also partnered with
Pheasants Forever to purchase 1,000 acres adjacent to the Beckman
Wildlife Management Area in Central Montana. This piece of property
is a key component that connects land owned by Montana FWP, Block
Management land and Department of Natural Resources and Conservation
land. Together, these properties total over 15,000 contiguous acres
of incredible wildlife habitat, and they also provide ample
opportunity for outdoor recreation and hunting.
MDF’s Chapter Rewards Program has also contributed to funding of
on-the-ground projects. This program enables chapters to keep a
percentage of money raised at the local level for projects in their
area. In 2009, MDF chapters funded 72 projects utilizing over
$200,000 from the Chapter Rewards Program. The Central Wyoming
Chapter in Casper, Wyo., contributed over $42,000 to the Bates Creek
Watershed Restoration Project in Central Wyoming. The project
involves prescribed burns and mechanical treatment of Aspen to
restore a viable aspen community and improve the watershed. The
multi-year endeavor has treated over 6,000 acres of aspen to date.
Other projects funded by MDF will be highlighted at the 10th Annual
Mule Deer Foundation Convention which will be part of the Western
Hunting and Conservation Expo (WHCE) in Salt Lake City, Utah, Feb.
11-14, 2010. Over the past three years, the WHCE has raised over $20
million dollars for wildlife. For details about the Fourth Annual
WHCE, go to http://www.huntexpo.com.
Visit MDF’s Web site (www.muledeer.org) to learn more about projects
funded in your state.