More than $100,000 was awarded to a dozen Idaho outdoor groups through a Fish and Game grant program that will help pay for wolf management, stream rehabilitation, youth archery equipment and free bear spray.
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission at its July meeting awarded the grants to regional groups including the Foundation for Wildlife Management, which received $20,000 to help pay hunters and trappers to manage wolves in The Panhandle and Clearwater regions.
The group reimburses hunters and trappers for each wolf they harvest.
This year, there were a total of 25 applicants for the seven regional grants, and six applicants for the statewide grant, Brian Pearson of Fish and Game said.
“Through this program, Idaho Fish and Game assists outside organizations in implementing projects that are broadly supported by the local sporting community and enhances fish and wildlife habitat, populations, or associated recreational opportunities,” Pearson said.
The program, called the Idaho Fish and Game Commission Community Challenge Grant program, also gave the Canyon County 4-H $3,000 to install an archery range at Caldwell. It gave $2,500 to help the Idaho Bowhunters in Stanley buy youth archery equipment. Trout Unlimited received $3,000 to improve fish habitat and stabilize streambanks. Idaho Trails Association received $10,000 for backcountry trail improvements on the Mainstem Middle Fork Salmon River. Mackay High School received $2,853 to buy wall panels for a cold water fish lab, and the Western Bear Foundation will use $7,147 to distribute free cans of bear spray to hunters and anglers in grizzly bear habitat in eastern Idaho.
Fish and Game has two types of awards available including $10,000 regional grants and projects that benefit the state or multiple regions are eligible for up to $30,000.
The grants are awarded annually, and projects were evaluated for their consistency with the department’s mission, Pearson said.
Fish and Game’s mission includes managing the state’s fish and wildlife and to provide supplies for hunting, fishing, and trapping, he said.
The grants this year will also help pay for habitat restoration on the Blackfoot River Wildlife Management Area ($10,000), and the Idaho Houndsmen Association of Eastern Idaho and Idaho Sporting Dogs received $30,000 to assist in collecting biological data on mountain lions.