The Mule Deer Foundation (MDF), established in 1988, has released a 2020-21 project-funding statement, which illustrated the organization’s health, impact and importance. The well-drafted public message also showcased how America’s best-run conservation organizations may turn $1 into $5 for licensed game, general wildlife and humankind.
Urban sprawl, western drought cycles, increasingly unregulated predations through the politically driven mismanagements of mountain lions and black bears, together with a host of other negative factors, continues to conspire against the iconic mule deer and its lesser-known relative, the black-tailed deer.
Enter the sportsman-led MDF, who invested in and organized $45.7 million to 200 projects, improving 264,685 acres of mule deer habitat, during the two-year reporting period.
MDF’s recent messaging exampled its project work in the Toano Mountains of Nevada, home to a mule deer herd of approximately 4,000 animals. In this instance, the Great Basin Chapter of MDF matched a grant of $20,000 from Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund, which in turn leveraged an additional $120,000 from the Nevada Heritage Fund. That restoration project, completed by the Nevada Department of Wildlife, removed invasive juniper on 400 acres of sagebrush, ultimately improving over 3,000 acres of winter-range habitat for that top-priority migratory herd of Nevada mule deer.
With accolades to the incredible provisions of MDF’s self-motivated volunteers, together with the support of outdoor-corporate and wildlife-agency partnerships, Joel Pedersen, MDF President/CEO said:
“Moving forward, MDF will continue to use science to identify the priority landscapes where deer need the most help. This will allow us to focus on doing the right work, in the right place, at the right scale to ensure that we have healthy, sustainable populations of deer that can be enjoyed by future generations.”
Mossy Oak salutes the Mule Deer Foundation, encouraging our family of outdoor enthusiasts to visit and engage with this terrific conservation organization at muledeer.org.