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San Juan Chapter of Elk Foundation to hold banquet

If you enjoy a good time and the outdoors, you won’t want to miss the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) San Juan Chapter’s 15th annual banquet and fund-raiser.

This year’s banquet is on Saturday, June 4, at the Archuleta County Fair Building. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. During our social hour there will be entertainment for all ages, including drawings, raffles, games, drinks and the silent auction. Dinner and live auction will follow.

Proceeds from the event will support RMEF’s vital conservation efforts. Since 1984, the RMEF has permanently protected more than 1,500 square miles of critical elk habitat, improved nearly five million acres of habitat across elk country, funded more than 7,000 projects to promote conservation education and North America’s hunting heritage, and opened more than 626,875 acres to the public for hunting, fishing and related outdoor recreation. In 2010, RMEF approved 18 new conservation projects in Colorado that will contribute to the conservation and enhancement of habitat for elk and other wildlife.

Since 2005, RMEF returned $73,000 to Archuleta County to support wildlife habitat improvement projects on public lands. RMEF funds were matched with funds from the Colorado Division of Wildlife’s Habitat Partnership Program and the U.S. Forest Service to prescribed burn approximately 3,643 acres of winter and transition range for big game (elk and mule deer) and habitat for other wildlife. Prescribed burning improves habitat for big game by increasing the quantity and quality of grass-forb forage, and rejuvenates decadent woody browse species such as Gambel oak and serviceberry. Prescribed burning also helps reduce the risk of stand replacement wildfire that could adversely impact wildlife habitat in the long term.

For tickets and information on the event, contact Michele Ziegler at 264-2515 until May 27, or Natalie Woodruff after May 27 at 749-4209.

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