Five Oaks Ag Research and Education Center (FOAgREC) is a 2022 SITKA Ecosystem Grantee. SITKA is proud to be supporting a multifaceted program that is rooted in the commitment to inspire and support the next generation of wildlife managers, stewards and researchers. Through the SITKA Ecosystem Grant funding, we will fully sponsor scholarships for 4 students selected for the Graduate Certificate Program in Waterfowl Habitat and Recreation Management at the University of Arkansas at Monticello.
NWTF Ecosystem Grant: Restoring Michigan's Oak Savannas
Centuries ago, regularly occurring natural wildfires and cultural burning by Native Americans made oak savannas into one of the most dominant landscape types on the North American continent, and one that provided vital habitat to hundreds of wildlife species. Over the last few hundred years, though, the majority of these savanna ecosystems have been lost. A recent SITKA Ecosystem Grant with the National Wild Turkey Federation aims to help restore some of this important landscape.
Getting eaten alive by bugs can turn an otherwise great hunt into a miserable experience. But even more importantly, insects like ticks and mosquitoes can carry all kinds of diseases, from Lyme disease to Rocky Mountain Spotted fever. In collaboration with Gore textile specialists, we looked to solve this problem.
Snow goose hunters know the best chance they have for a successful hunt in an open field is to disappear into it. For years they’ve relied on whites—including suits made of disposable Tyvek material—for concealment. Bulky, uncomfortable and non-breathable, these suits eventually fall apart or fail before the season’s over, ending up in a landfill before their time.
Hunting in the American West is dependent on land access, and as our population increases and human development continues to encroach into wild places, preservation and access becomes increasingly vital to our way of life. With a recent SITKA Ecosystem Grant, we were able to preserve access to an extremely important piece of land, ensuring that it remains open to the public without threat of development, forever. Perhaps most importantly for us, this vital piece of land is in our front yard.
We’ve all been on a trail in need of repair, whether damaged by erosion or blocked by fallen trees. Many of us don’t think twice about the people who work hard to make those repairs, people who are usually volunteers.
Chronic Wasting Disease is perhaps the greatest threat that wildlife populations in North America face, and it is the most significant threat posed to our way of life as hunters. This neurological disease currently has no treatment or vaccine, is fatal in cervids, and is spreading across deer populations in North America.
Once the snow starts flying, ancient rituals unfold as some of the planet’s greatest animal migrations take place. Animals embark on these seasonal journeys to survive, taking advantage of the rolling availability of resources that vary over space and time. A need for food, breeding grounds or overwinter habitat is what drives these wildlife to different locations and elevations.
SITKA Ecosystem Grant Profile: Montana Wilderness School Q&A
Montana Wilderness School (MWS) is a non-profit outdoor education program based in Bozeman, MT. The backbone of the program is multi-week backcountry expeditions that challenge our youth mentally and physically while teaching them practical outdoor skills. An overarching goal is to instill an appreciation for the importance of public lands and wild spaces. We sat down with Gar Duke, the co-founder and Executive Director of MWS to learn more about the program and their new curriculum for the aspiring backcountry hunter.
SITKA has awarded The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation and Restore The Mississippi River Delta with an Ecosystem Grant to support the planting of native trees in vulnerable stretches of the delta. In doing so, habitat loss can be reduced as these newly strengthened stretches of the delta will help secure the greater ecosystem by literally putting roots in the ground and anchoring the land.