April 24, 2018

Volunteers Contribute More than $21 Million in Value to RMEF Conservation Mission

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.— The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s volunteer force of 11,000-strong donated more than $21 million in labor during 2017.

“We have a profound gratitude for our volunteers who give so much of their time, talents and energy on behalf of RMEF,” said Nancy Holland, RMEF president and CEO. “They constantly go above and beyond in helping to further our shared conservation mission of ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.”

The Independent Sector used data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to calculate the 2017 value of one volunteer hour as $24.14. RMEF volunteers average approximately 80 hours of service annually. If you do the math, that equates into $21,243,200 of total value for elk and elk country.

RMEF volunteers host fundraising banquets, membership drives and other events across more than 500 chapters from coast-to-coast. Those generated dollars are put back on the ground in their respective states and around the country to benefit elk, elk habitat, public access projects, hunting outreach events and scientific research.

Volunteers also give of their time to help with youth seminars, camps and other activities that bolster the future of hunting and conservation. Additionally, they roll up their sleeves to carry out work projects such as fence pulls, noxious weed treatments, building and repairing wildlife water sources, assisting with elk restoration and other activities. RMEF volunteers carried out more than 130 such projects across 30 states in 2017.

Since 1984, RMEF volunteers helped to protect or enhance more than 7.3 million acres of wildlife habitat, open or improve access to 1.2 million acres, complete more than 11,000 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects, and assist with the successful reintroduction of elk in seven states and one Canadian province.

“There is absolutely no doubt that RMEF would not be where it is today without our dedicated volunteers. We encourage all men, women and children interested in conserving elk and elk country to join us,” added Holland.

Go here to learn more about becoming a RMEF volunteer.

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Secretary Zinke Announces More Than $1.1 Billion for Sportsmen & Conservation

Press Release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:

This year marks $20 billion in hunter and angler conservation funding

Date: March 20, 2018
Contact: Interior_Press@ios.doi.gov

HORICON, Wisc. – Today U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke traveled to Horicon, Wisconsin, where he announced more than $1.1 billion in annual national funding for state wildlife agencies from revenues generated by the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration (PRDJ) acts. The Secretary presented a ceremonial check to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for $34,966,603 while visiting the Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area. State-by-state listings of the final Fiscal Year 2018 apportionments of Wildlife Restoration Program fund can be found here and the Sport Fish Restoration Program fund here. Allocations of the funds are authorized by Congress. To date, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has distributed more than $20.2 billion in apportionments for state conservation and recreation projects.

“American sportsmen and women are some of our best conservationists and they contribute billions of dollars toward wildlife conservation and sportsmen access every year through the Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson Acts,” said Secretary Zinke. “For nearly eighty years, states have been able to fund important conservation initiatives thanks to the more than $20 billion that has generated nationwide. Every time a firearm, fishing pole, hook, bullet, motor boat or boat fuel is sold, part of that cost goes to fund conservation. The best way to increase funding for conservation and sportsmen access is to increase the number of hunters and anglers in our woods and waters. The American conservation model has been replicated all over the world because it works.”

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources manages over 11,000 acres of the Horicon Marsh and almost every habitat project they complete includes PRDJ dollars, including prescribed burning, invasive species treatments, wetland berm maintenance, prairie seeding and restoration, timber stand improvement.

The funds, which are distributed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, support critical state conservation and outdoor recreation projects. They are derived from excise taxes paid by the hunting, shooting, boating and angling industries on firearms, bows and ammunition and sport fishing tackle, some boat engines, and small engine fuel.

Wisconsin boaters generate $1.18 billion of economic impact annually while hunting contributes to $2.5 billion in yearly economic impact. Angling creates over 21,000 jobs while impacting the economy to the tune of $2.3 billion each year.

“These funds are integral to our ability to provide hunting and fishing access, restore habitat and manage species at the state level,” said Daniel L. Meyer, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. “We greatly value the partnership we have with the Service and the Department of Interior.”

STATE TOTAL – SPORT FISH RESTORATION (FY18) TOTAL – ALL WILDLIFE FUNDS (FY18) TOTAL – ALL FUNDS (FY18)
ALABAMA $6,151,179 $19,360,421 $25,511,600
ALASKA $17,595,874 $33,455,771 $51,051,645
AMERICAN SAMOA $1,173,058 $1,328,563 $2,501,621
ARIZONA $7,154,503 $22,080,003 $29,234,506
ARKANSAS $5,348,981 $13,221,723 $18,570,704
CALIFORNIA $16,513,733 $26,037,993 $42,551,726
COLORADO $9,143,673 $19,872,123 $29,015,796
CONNECTICUT $3,519,175 $5,901,190 $9,420,365
DELAWARE $3,519,175 $4,785,824 $8,304,999
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA $1,173,058 $0 $1,173,058
FLORIDA $12,236,611 $14,351,398 $26,588,009
GEORGIA $8,041,424 $23,213,465 $31,254,889
GUAM $1,173,058 $1,328,563 $2,501,621
HAWAII $3,519,175 $4,785,824 $8,304,999
IDAHO $6,430,284 $15,474,320 $21,904,604
ILLINOIS $6,593,209 $16,335,080 $22,928,289
INDIANA $4,577,731 $13,573,699 $18,151,430
IOWA $4,513,130 $11,515,178 $16,028,308
KANSAS $4,981,927 $14,646,057 $19,627,984
KENTUCKY $5,198,763 $14,127,290 $19,326,053
LOUISIANA $6,908,171 $15,884,383 $22,792,554
MAINE $3,519,175 $8,055,283 $11,574,458
MARYLAND $3,519,175 $7,754,551 $11,273,726
MASSACHUSETTS $3,519,175 $7,986,372 $11,505,547
MICHIGAN $10,692,452 $24,296,525 $34,988,977
MINNESOTA $12,500,370 $23,400,370 $35,900,740
MISSISSIPPI $4,009,209 $12,144,757 $16,153,966
MISSOURI $7,677,750 $21,117,103 $28,794,853
MONTANA $8,648,987 $21,131,270 $29,780,257
N. MARIANA ISLANDS $1,173,058 $1,328,563 $2,501,621
NEBRASKA $4,483,366 $12,833,330 $17,316,696
NEVADA $4,974,601 $13,948,153 $18,922,754
NEW HAMPSHIRE $3,519,175 $4,785,824 $8,304,999
NEW JERSEY $3,519,175 $7,986,372 $11,505,547
NEW MEXICO $6,244,495 $15,787,434 $22,031,929
NEW YORK $7,820,180 $20,862,345 $28,682,525
NORTH CAROLINA $10,344,499 $21,338,737 $31,683,236
NORTH DAKOTA $4,130,618 $11,377,784 $15,508,402
OHIO $6,898,966 $16,457,632 $23,356,598
OKLAHOMA $7,695,368 $19,907,732 $27,603,100
OREGON $7,820,246 $17,690,588 $25,510,834
PENNSYLVANIA $8,571,622 $28,157,633 $36,729,255
PUERTO RICO $3,519,175 $3,452,263 $6,971,438
RHODE ISLAND $3,519,175 $4,785,824 $8,304,999
SOUTH CAROLINA $4,899,188 $10,678,793 $15,577,981
SOUTH DAKOTA $4,490,053 $13,775,104 $18,265,157
TENNESSEE $7,457,271 $22,544,767 $30,002,038
TEXAS $17,595,874 $36,656,319 $54,252,193
UTAH $6,405,939 $14,616,342 $21,022,281
VERMONT $3,519,175 $4,785,824 $8,304,999
VIRGIN ISLANDS $1,173,058 $1,328,563 $2,501,621
VIRGINIA $5,204,846 $14,176,335 $19,381,181
WASHINGTON $7,112,530 $15,120,458 $22,232,988
WEST VIRGINIA $3,519,175 $8,209,596 $11,728,771
WISCONSIN $11,424,513 $23,542,090 $34,966,603
WYOMING $5,329,957 $13,861,148 $19,191,105
       
TOTAL  $351,917,483 $797,160,652 $1,149,078,135

The recipient state wildlife agencies have matched these funds with approximately $6.7 billion throughout the years, primarily through hunting and fishing license revenues.

For more information about the WSFR program visit http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/.

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Hunting Is Conservation

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RMEF Conserves Wisconsin Elk Habitat

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation permanently protected key elk habitat in Wisconsin elk country by first acquiring and then conveying a 360-acre inholding to Jackson County Forest.

“This is a crucial transaction because it prevents the potential of development and fragmentation within an area that is vital to Wisconsin’s newest elk herd,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “It also both improves and increases public access for hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities.”

The Morrison Creek property is surrounded on three sides by the 122,000-acre Jackson County Forest and is located less than three miles east from where more than 70 elk were released in 2015-2016. The area also provides year-round habitat for black bear, whitetail deer, wild turkey and an array of other wildlife species.

The acquisition opens the door for improved wildlife management practices as well as habitat stewardship work designed to promote early seral habitat for elk and other wildlife.

RMEF previously supplied funding for a nearby grassland enhancement project to increase meadow habitat.

Snipe Lake II Project
RMEF also purchased an 80-acre private inholding within the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. The transaction, which builds on a prior acquisition in Wisconsin’s northern elk restoration area, permanently protects key elk habitat and is critical to future forest management efforts.

Since 1990, RMEF and its partners completed 455 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Wisconsin with a combined value of more than $8.5 million. These projects protected or enhanced 5,848 acres of habitat and opened or secured public access to 1,630 acres.

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Secretary Zinke Creates New Council for Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation

Date: January 9, 2018
Contact: Interior_Press@ios.doi.gov

WASHINGTON – Continuing his unyielding support for hunting, fishing, and the American conservation ethic, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today announced the creation of the Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council. The Council is intended to provide the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture with advice regarding the establishment and implementation of existing and proposed policies and authorities with regard to wildlife and habitat conservation. The Council will examine ways to benefit wildlife resources; encourage partnership among the public, the sporting conservation organizations, state, tribal, territorial, and federal government; and benefit recreational hunting and recreational shooting sports.

“Hunters and anglers are the backbone of wildlife and habitat conservation in America. Through the purchase of duck stamps, bows, ammo, firearms, and more, sportsmen and women contribute billions of dollars to conservation. From my perspective, the more sportsmen we have in the woods and waters, the better our wildlife and habitat will be,” Secretary Zinke said. “The Council will be made up of experts that share their knowledge, experience, and recommendations on a number of policy proposals put before them, as well as helping the Departments come up with innovative ideas to improve the health of wildlife and their habitat and increase sportsmen access on public and private lands.”

The Council is strictly advisory and the duties will consist of providing recommendations for implementation of Executive Order No. 13443 (E.O.): Facilitation of Hunting Heritage and Wildlife Conservation, Secretarial Order No. 3347: Conservation Stewardship and Outdoor Recreation, and Secretarial Order No. 3356 (S.O.): Hunting, Fishing, Recreational Shooting, and Wildlife Conservation Opportunities and Coordination with States, Tribes, and Territories.

Recommendations from the Council to the Secretary of the Interior and Secretary of Agriculture shall include, but not be limited to:

  • Assessing and quantifying implementation of the Executive Order and Secretarial Orders across relevant departments, agencies, offices, and recommendations to enhance and expand their implementation as identified;

Policies and programs that:

  • Conserve and restore wetlands, agricultural lands, grasslands, forests, and range land habitats;
  • Promote opportunities and expand access to hunting and shooting sports on public and private lands;
  • Encourages hunting and shooting safety by developing ranges on public lands;
  • Recruit and retain new shooters and hunters;
  • Increase public awareness of the importance of wildlife conservation and the social and economic benefits of hunting and shooting;
  • Encourage coordination among the public, hunting and shooting sports community, wildlife conservation groups, state, tribal, territorial, and federal government.

Since his first day in office, Secretary Zinke:

  • Reversed an order that would have banned lead ammo and tackle on National Wildlife Refuge lands.
  • Expanded hunting and fishing opportunities at 10 national wildlife refuges
  • Signed a wide-ranging order to expand sportsmen access on public and private land, improve collaboration between the federal, state and Tribal wildlife management authorities, and create a “one-stop” website for all hunting and fishing opportunities on public lands
  • Directed bureaus to open hunting and fishing on all national monument lands where legally allowed
  • Finalized a land acquisition to make the Sabinoso Wilderness Area accessible to hunters for the first time ever

Individuals may submit comments and/or nominations by any of the following methods:

  • Mail or hand-carry nominations to Joshua Winchell, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Wildlife Refuge System, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803; or
  • Email nominations to: joshua_winchell@fws.gov

The Council will meet approximately twice a year, and at such other times as designated by the Designated Federal Officer. The Council will terminate 2 years from the date the charter is filed, unless, prior to that date, it is renewed in accordance with the provisions of Section 14 of the FACA. The Council will not meet or take any action without a valid current Charter.

The Council is established to further the provisions of the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 (16 U.S.C. 742a), the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1701), the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 (16 U.S.C. 668dd), other Acts applicable to specific bureaus, and Executive Order 13443, “Facilitation of Hunting Heritage and Wildlife Conservation.” The Council is regulated by the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), as amended, 5 U.S.C. Appendix 2.

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Wildlife Habitat Protected, Access Improved in Nevada

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation worked with a conservation-minded landowner, the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) and the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to protect 4,500 acres of key wildlife habitat in northeast Nevada via a voluntary conservation easement agreement. The project also improves access to nearly 19,000 acres of adjacent public land.

“We appreciate Bryan Masini and his partner owners of the Wildhorse Ranch in recognizing the importance of protecting and conserving the wildlife values of their land,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer.

Located approximately 70 miles north of Elko, the property lies within the Owyhee River watershed just east of the Independence Mountain Range.

As part of the transaction, the NDOW holds an access agreement that allows public access for hunting and other recreational activities to the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest and Bureau of Land Management lands which border the ranch.

“We are grateful for all the partners in this effort and find great hope in innovative approaches such as this conservation easement,” said Tony Wasley, NDOW director. “This is a great solution that protects private land, while also maintaining the land’s benefits for the wildlife species that depend on it.”

“This specific area is year-round habitat and crucial summer range for up to 100 elk. It’s also a key area for mule deer and antelope, crucial habitat for Greater sage-grouse and it features riparian habitat for fish and other species,” added Henning.

Current range conditions consist of enough forage for cattle and wildlife and a plan has been implemented to ensure that best management practices maintain quality habitat going forward.

“This project is a great example of the private and public partnership efforts that exist to protect critical habitats and preserve agricultural working lands for future generations,” stated Ray Dotson, NRCS state conservationist.

The Natural Resource Conservation Service’s Agricultural Conservation Easement Program and the Nevada Department of Wildlife provided funding for the project.

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Small Utah Project Has Big Public Access Dividends

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—Sportsmen and women now have permanent access to 3,800 acres of National Forest land in central Utah thanks to a collaborative effort between the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Manti-La Sal National Forest, Back Country Horsemen of Utah and Emery County.

“This project shows how working together can bring about improved public access that benefits hunters, hikers, horseback riders and so many other people who enjoy our national forests,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer.

“The American public benefits greatly by acquiring this property which allows access to some of the best country for hunting and horseback riding on the Manti-La Sal National Forest” said Darren Olsen, district ranger for the Manti-La Sal National Forest.

The project site is located approximately 20 miles west of Huntington and secures permanent public access from a parking area on Highway 31 to the popular Candland trailhead.

RMEF recently conveyed the 10-acre parcel of land to the Manti-LaSal National Forest which now oversees management responsibilities. Back Country Horsemen of Utah (BCH), San Rafael Chapter, originally acquired grant funding and coordinated trailhead construction. Emery County donated thousands of dollars in equipment use, labor and materials.

“The Candland Mountain trailhead more than triples the parking for users of the Candland Mountain trail system,” said Rod Player of San Rafael BCH. “It would not be possible were it not for the generous donations from Emery County and RMEF. RMEF has ensured the existence of the trailhead for future generations.”

“Emery County appreciates the opportunity to partner in this project which will benefit residents of the county as well as visitors to our area,” said Ray Petersen, Emery County public lands administrator. “The Emery County Road Department displayed its typical professionalism in constructing this parking area. We are very proud of the work they do. As is often the case, it takes a willingness to collaborate by many partners to accomplish beneficial results on our public lands.”

The area accessed by the trailhead is primarily elk spring through fall habitat, including calving areas, and is used by more than 1,000 elk. It is also home to mule deer, black bears, mountain lions and a host of bird and animal life.

RMEF’s Torstenson Family Endowment (TFE) provided funding for the project. TFE funding is used solely to further RMEF’s core mission programs of permanent land protection, habitat stewardship, elk restoration and hunting heritage.

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Selfish Environmentalists Have a Strange Way of Thanking Hunters

A photographer in Maine loves to take pictures of moose. I assume for profit, although his letter to the editor doesn’t exactly admit that. And that’s okay too. He has that right to exploit wildlife for profit – within the laws of course just as the rest of us do. And, I’ve seen some of his photography and it’s quite good. He also has a strange way of thanking the real conservationists – hunters – for assisting in his enjoyment of seeing a moose in the wild, as he writes: “It is a thrill unmatched to see a mature bull moose, amidst the brilliant colors of autumn in New England, up close, living life, chasing cows, battling rivals and splashing across a beautiful mountain pond into the mystical Katahdin woods.” Who could argue with that?

The author suggests that hunting is limiting the chances for people to be able to see moose, as he describes above, and that hunting of moose should be stopped so that he can make even more money by exploiting the resource for selfish gain. Why is it that the Left seems bent on propping up their selfish desires at the expense of destroying it for others?

The author also suggests that Mother Nature would aptly provide him and anyone else with such desires to moose watch, more so than employment of the North American Model of Wildlife Management – a scientific approach to wildlife management that has proven itself to be the envy of the planet AND providing photographers and others the opportunity to glimpse all wildlife in a mostly natural setting. Of course due to the author’s ignorance of things, he fails to understand the concept nor see the realities, while thinking only of himself.

Maine is probably experiencing a sample of what a “natural balance of nature” might look like as we witness thousands of moose dying each year due to the winter tick, an infestation that I believe, and can be supported by science, is caused by Maine’s attempt at growing too many moose. Part of that attempt to grow too many moose can be attributed to people, just like the author of this opinion piece, who want to view moose and take pictures and pressure the government to fulfill their wants.

I doubt the author understands that what makes his expressed love of seeing a bull moose in front of a backdrop of Autumn colors, doing what moose do, of value, is that it is not something everyone can do anytime they have a whim. Doesn’t the real value come from the total experience which includes a certain degree of rarity in finding such a treasure? What becomes of this value when moose are ignored and to grow as nature decides, the result being needlessly dying animals from disease and parasites? A lack of knowledge causes the author to believe hunting, as part of a scientific approach to moose management, is limiting his opportunity to view and photograph moose, i.e. to obtain his own trophy. He fails to understand that Mother Nature doesn’t manage for his desires either but provides periods of ups and downs, disease and suffering. Surely man doesn’t want to see this. We have brains to use to figure it out. Why can’t we manage for ample for everyone and their wants and desires?

Yes, moose hunters enjoy hunting moose as much as someone might enjoy taking a picture. The value of the moose hunt is increased by a greater effort to find success in the same way a photographer has to work harder to get that trophy photograph. Perhaps the difference in the two comparisons is that the hunter, while they might be disappointed, would approve and understand if survival of the moose required a stop to hunting. Would the photographer have the same understanding if the state had to stop causing moose to suffer by artificially growing too many moose and bring the population down to healthy and yet sustainable numbers?

My suggestion to this photographer is the next time he sees a hunter, thank them for the hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars, they personally have spent, to ensure that he can still go to Baxter State Park in hopes of photographing a bull moose doing what bull moose do.

I wonder what the photographer has done to perpetuate the conservation of wildlife? Perhaps he could begin by first learning the truth of what the North American Model of Wildlife Management is all about.

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Wildlife, Riparian Habitat Permanently Protected Near Mount St. Helens

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and its conservation partners permanently protected and opened access to 1,453 acres of wildlife and riparian habitat in southwest Washington.

RMEF worked with Merrill Lake Properties LLC and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to connect protected lands and enhance recreational activities like hunting and fishing.

“There was a possibility that the previous owner could offer this Merrill Lake waterfront property to the highest bidder, but now this landscape is forever protected and open for everyone to access and use,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer.

“Our working partnership with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation enables us to meet the public’s demand for increased wildlife conservation, more open space and recreational opportunities,” said Clay Sprague, WDFW Lands Division manager. “We very much appreciate and value the key role that RMEF has played in opening up this incredible landscape near Merrill Lake for the public. Their funding of the remaining acreage is a very timely contribution and enhances this public acquisition.”

The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office provided vital funding through its Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program for the project and RMEF stepped in to bridge a shortfall due to a purchase deadline. WDFW takes immediate ownership of 1,016 acres while RMEF holds 140 acres until funding is acquired for conveyance to WDFW. RMEF is currently spearheading that effort.

The transaction benefits Washington’s largest elk herd and is the latest in a series of projects near Mount St. Helens. RMEF collaborated with its partners to complete the first phase of the Merrill Lake project, encompassing 297 acres, in 2015.

“This property with its early seral and old growth forests has an extremely diverse set of conservation values that, in addition to elk, benefit black-tailed deer, mountain lions, black bears, osprey, eagles and other animal life as well as salmon and steelhead,” added Henning.

The land provides low elevation security for elk and is a vital fishery featuring some of the coldest fresh water inputs from the Kalama River that lead into the lower Columbia River system.

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2016 RMEF Hunter & Outdoor Christmas Expo Attracts Record Crowds

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s Hunter & Outdoor Christmas Expo, in partnership with the Cowboy Christmas expo, set an all-time combined attendance record of 231,517 at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC). The new figure is 6.6 percent higher than the 2015 attendance total of 216,292.

The Dec. 1-10 event took place at the LVCC’s South Halls in conjunction with the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR).

“We are grateful for all the people who attended this year’s expo,” said Steve Decker, RMEF vice president of Marketing. “We especially appreciate our expo sponsors, exhibitors and our partners at Las Vegas Events. Without them our expo simply does not exist, let alone experience the success we enjoyed this year.”

The 2016 expo included a number of new features such as the MTN Ops Shootout-Ultimate Archery Experience, the inaugural Junior NFR at the Wrangler Rodeo Arena, and country music performances and daily wild game cooking demonstrations on the Realtree Live Stage.

Hunting, outdoor industry leaders and other exhibitors featured firearms, archery equipment, optics, outfitter and guide services, hunting apparel and western lifestyle gear and clothing.

“This year’s attendance reflects the energy that can only be found in Las Vegas in early December,” said Pat Christenson, president of Las Vegas Events. “Our partnership with RMEF has been beneficial and provided even more opportunities for rodeo fans to enjoy the NFR experience.”

Hunter & Outdoor Christmas Expo sponsors included Chevrolet, Cabela’s, ALPS OutdoorZ, MTN OPS, Peak BlueDEF, Sitka, Browning, Realtree, Weatherby, Browning Ammunition, Worldwide Trophy Adventures and Weston.

“We are anxious to receive more feedback from our attendees and exhibitors to make the 2017 expo even better,” added Decker.

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