October 22, 2018

RMEF Honored for Public Access and Habitat Stewardship

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Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation received the Public Lands Foundation’s (PLF) 2018 Landscape Stewardship Award at a ceremony here Tuesday for its leadership in conserving wildlife habitat and improving access on public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

“The RMEF has been a long-time leader in working with the BLM, state and federal agencies, private landowners and other partners to conserve wildlife and enhance access to public lands for hunters, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy,” said Ed Shepard, PLF president. “RMEF’s unique niche as a grassroots, member-driven organization has made a measureable impact as a passionate and effective advocate, working from the ground up to champion access and habitat improvement projects across the country.”

The Montana/Dakotas BLM nominated RMEF for the prestigious award and highlighted RMEF’s successful Cow Island Trail acquisition in north-central Montana immediately prior to the 2015 hunting season. The 93-acre project improved access to approximately 6,000 acres of public land in the scenic Upper Missouri Breaks that were extremely difficult to reach.

“We have worked side-by-side with our BLM partners for more than 34 years and appreciate receiving this honor and recognition,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “It is a reflection of our commitment to our mission and especially is an indicator of the support we receive from our volunteers, members and other conservation partners who support us in all that we do together.”

Over the past 20 years in the Montana/Dakotas region alone, RMEF spearheaded five lands projects conveying 14,015 acres to BLM, opening or improving access to more than 56,000 acres of public lands.

“The Elk Foundation is leaving an indelible mark on the ability of current and future generations to use and enjoy our nation’s public lands,” said Jon Raby, BLM Montana State Director. “RMEF’s ability to work closely with willing landowners to develop strategic access improvement projects is a tremendous asset for BLM and the public.”

The most recent RMEF-BLM Montana effort is the Little Sheep Creek access project in southwest Montana that, when completed, will permanently protect nearly 1,000 acres of wildlife habitat and improve access to 2,600 acres of adjacent public lands.

RMEF and BLM Montana have partnered on more than 60 habitat stewardship projects that directly benefited more than 80,000 acres of habitat for elk and a diverse array of other species. Nationally, the BLM and RMEF have completed more than 1,082 projects with a joint conservation portfolio valued in excess of $143 million dollars.

Photo information (left to right):  BLM/RMEF National Liaison Linda Cardenas, BLM Western District Manager Rick Hotaling, Kemp Conn, retired BLM Deputy Assistant Director, Lands and Resources, RMEF President/CEO Kyle Weaver, RMEF Director of Lands Jennifer Doherty, RMEF Senior Lands Program Manager Mike Mueller

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