August 15, 2018

Newberg, Jacobsen Launch Elk Talk Podcast

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—Simply stated, it is all-elk, all-the-time. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is proud to present Randy Newberg and Corey Jacobsen’s Elk Talk Podcast.


“All my media platforms have one goal – lower the hurdles for those wanting to hunt our public lands,” said Newberg. “This podcast will be informational content to do just that; inform, inspire and hopefully provide a few laughs along the way.”

“To be able to work with Randy and focus on a subject we’re both incredibly passionate about – and to bring others along on the experience through the platform of a podcast – is going to be awesome!” said Jacobsen.

Newberg is host of Fresh Tracks and the popular Elk Talk video series. Jacobsen owns elk101.com and is the 9-time and reigning world elk callingchampion.

Elk Talk Podcast will focus on all things elk including elk calling, hunting and biology as well as conservation. It will also feature tips, hints, lessons learned and valuable insights from two hunters who focus on elk year-round.

“Randy and Corey are among America’s premiere elk hunters. They have a wealth of experience that will benefit both the bow hunter and the rifle hunter,” said Steve Decker, RMEF vice president of Marketing. “RMEF is excited to support this podcast and we look forward to following their pursuits.”

Recorded at RMEF headquarters and other locations, the podcast debuted on July 6. Go here to listen to its first edition.

Elk Talk Podcast is available on Stitcher, iTunes, Google Play, elktalkpodcast.com and on Instagram @ElkTalkPodcast.

Presented by RMEF, other Elk Talk Podcast sponsors include Gerber Gear, goHUNT.com, onX Hunt, Rocky Mountain Hunting Calls and Sitka.

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RMEF Team Elk Returns

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—Heart-pumping elk hunts and tales of conservation success highlight the eighth season of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s award-winning television show, RMEF Team Elk, presented by Bass Pro Shops/Cabelas’s.

Team Elk captures the essence of up-close, adrenaline-filled encounters with elk as well as the beauty of the backcountry,” said Steve Decker, RMEF vice president of Marketing. “We are excited to unveil another season as we highlight how Hunting is Conservation.”

Season eight of RMEF Team Elk begins the week of July 2. It airs every Sunday at 9 p.m. Additional weekly airings include Mondays at 3 a.m., Tuesdays at 5:30 a.m. and Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. (all times MT) on Outdoor Channel.

Hosted by Brandon Bates, highlighted episodes feature an elk migration scientist and the conservation director of one of the nation’s largest outdoor retailers talking conservation and chasing elk in New Mexico, a father-son duo from Wisconsin hunting elk in Montana using archery equipment they build and two participants of the Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow program in Colorado on their first-ever elk hunt, among others.

Presented by Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s, additional sponsors include Browning, Browning Ammunition, Buck Knives, Danner, Eberlestock, Mathews, PEAK BlueDEF, Sitka, Wildgame Innovations, Yeti and Zeiss, with special thanks to ALPS OutdoorZ, Bog-Pod and Yamaha.

“We are grateful for our conservation partners who value hunting and support RMEF’s conservation mission of ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage,” added Decker.

You can watch the first six seasons of RMEF Team Elk online anytime for free on the Elk Network.

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Montana Project Protects Wildlife Habitat, Expands Public Access

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation worked with a conservation-minded family to permanently protect nearly 1,000 acres of elk habitat in southwest Montana. In addition to providing public access to the property, the project also greatly improves access to approximately 2,600 acres of adjacent public land.

“We appreciate Jerry and Linda Grow for recognizing the wildlife values of their land and reaching out to us to both protect it and open it to public access,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer.

The 960-acre parcel is located about 45 minutes south of Dillon in an area that includes a number of other RMEF land protection and public access projects. It is bordered on three sides by land managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. RMEF now holds the property and will keep it open to public access until conveying it to the BLM, expected to happen later in 2018.

“We are very grateful for our partnerships with the private landowner, RMEF, and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) who all were all instrumental in securing this property for the public and conserving this habitat,” said Cornie Hudson, BLM Dillon Field Office manager.

The property features high quality winter range habitat for as many as 700 elk and approximately 450 mule deer. It also supports moose, antelope, black bear, wolverine, greater sage-grouse and other wildlife. Both West Fork Little Sheep Creek and Straight Creek cross the immediate landscape providing vital riparian habitat for fish and other aquatic species.

The parcel will be incorporated into a grass bank to be periodically grazed by domestic livestock. Doing so will make it subject to prescribed fire and other stewardship work that will maintain high-quality habitat for wildlife and livestock alike.

The tract is also historic range for bighorn sheep that used it until a recent die-off. FWP is strongly considering the property for future bighorn reintroduction efforts.

Two small cabins are on currently on the site and will remain to be used as public rentals via the BLM recreation.gov system.

“We are so excited for the public to be able to experience this recreational opportunity!” added Hudson.”

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More Pennsylvania Elk Country Protected, Open to Public Access

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—Another piece of Pennsylvania elk country is permanently protected and open to public access thanks to a collaborative effort by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC).

The Woodring Farm II project entails 37 acres and is the newest addition to State Game Lands 311. It is located near a project finalized in 2014 and marks the 13th RMEF land protection and access project in Pennsylvania elk country.

“Even though these three parcels amount to just 37 acres, every piece of the puzzle counts in expanding the total amount of elk habitat acreage protected in Pennsylvania,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “We appreciate our partners at the Pennsylvania Game Commission as well as RMEF members and volunteers for their continual support.”

The property lies within the heart of the Pennsylvania elk range in Elk County’s Benezette Township which boasts the highest elk population density in the state.

“This acquisition is critical as it protects a very popular public corridor for elk viewing.  Public visitation to these viewing areas increases every year,” said Bryan Burhans, PGC executive director. “However, high-quality elk range is finite. This area is now protected perpetually thanks to our partners at RMEF and an anonymous donor.”

Funds generated from Pennsylvania elk tags and the anonymous donation to RMEF provided funding for the project.

Since 1991, RMEF and its partners completed 425 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Pennsylvania with a combined value of more than $25 million. These projects protected or enhanced 26,907 acres of habitat and opened or improved public access to 10,152 acres.

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Court Rules in Favor of Active Forest Management

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied claims by several environmental groups and ruled in favor of a habitat management project in southwestern Montana.

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and several other partners filed an amicus brief in support of the U.S. Forest Service and several other federal agencies.

“We have seen environmental groups file frivolous litigation time and time again seeking to thwart efforts designed at improving wildlife habitat and overall forest health. That is the case here,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “We appreciate the court’s ruling and look forward to the implementation of this needed habitat stewardship work.”

The East Deer Lodge Valley Landscape Restoration Management project is a landscape project in the Pintler Ranger District on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest designed to improve forest health and reduce sedimentation in the headwaters of the Clark Fork River.

The vast majority of lodgepole pine trees in this immediate area are dead. Many of them are already on the ground. Without forest management treatment in the near future, the forest floor will be covered with combustible material that will also impede the growth of shrubs and grasses needed by elk, deer and other wildlife.

The project calls for the removal of pine beetle-killed timber, forest thinning to reduce conifer encroachment and other treatments on riparian areas to protect and improve watersheds that will enhance both fish and wildlife habitat.

“RMEF maintains litigation reform is necessary in order to allow agencies tasked with managing our forests the ability to implement active forest management that is so badly needed all across elk country,” added Henning.

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RMEF to Serve on Hunting & Shooting Sports Conservation Council

*Editor’s Comment* – Participation in The Rigged System

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation accepted an invitation to serve on the Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council.

Established on January 9, 2018, the group is tasked with providing the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture with advice about the establishment and implementation of existing and proposed policies and authorities regarding wildlife and habitat conservation.

“I am very pleased and honored to be appointed by Secretary Ryan Zinke,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “I look forward to representing the interests of elk and other big game, big game hunters and furthering RMEF’s conservation mission as we carry out this important work.”

“We have assembled here some of the best conservationists in America,” said Secretary Zinke. “Over a century ago, Teddy Roosevelt established the American conservation ethic — best science, best practices, greatest good, longest term. These sportsmen carry on the American conservation ethic in the modern day. Bringing these experts together will be key to ensuring the American tradition of hunting and shooting, as well as the conservation benefits of these practices, carries on.”

Council Objectives:

  • Conserve and restore wetlands, agricultural lands, grasslands, forests and rangeland habitats
  • Promote opportunities and expand access to hunting and shooting sports on public and private lands
  • Encourage 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 and state, tribal, territorial, and federal government

The Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council includes 17 members and 11 alternates. It plans to meet twice a year, and additional times as needed.

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RMEF Announces New President and CEO

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Board of Directors this week announced Kyle Weaver as the new President and CEO, effective June 30, 2018.

“It is a tremendous honor to serve as the leader of the most respected wildlife conservation organization in the country, one that does so much for elk, elk habitat and America’s hunting tradition,” said Weaver. “Moving forward, as a team, we will elevate the delivery of RMEF’s mission, including our lands and access work as well as advocating for our hunting heritage.”

Weaver comes to RMEF from a long and successful career with the National Rifle Association, where he rose from an entry level position to ultimately serve as an NRA Officer and Executive Director of General Operations. His oversight included educational, safety and training programs, grassroots fundraising, as well as hunting and conservation programs. He brings extensive experience with board relations, volunteer management and fiscal responsibility and oversight, along with program building and implementation.

“My entire career has been dedicated to protecting, promoting and supporting our rights in the outdoors as hunters and conservationists. I am excited and welcome this opportunity. I look forward to using my full energy to serve our donors, members, volunteers, partners and sportsmen and women everywhere in furthering RMEF’s conservation mission,” added Weaver.

“We are excited to have Kyle join us and look forward to his leadership as we build on the success of RMEF,” said Philip Barrett, chairman of the RMEF Board of Directors. “We want to thank DBA Executive Search & Recruitment for leading this extensive nationwide search process that yielded an incredible field of candidates.”

Larry Potterfield, a long-time friend of Kyle, lifelong hunter, author, decorated business leader and founder and CEO of Midway USA, added, “The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation plays a critical role in the conservation of one of America’s great wildlife resources.  Its long-term success is critical for the preservation of the species and the rights of hunters. Kyle Weaver is the perfect choice to lead this great organization into the future.”

A passionate and avid hunter, Weaver has supported RMEF for well over a decade and is a life member.

Currently, the RMEF president and CEO position is held by Nancy Holland, who stepped into the role in February from her board position to facilitate the transition to the new leadership.

“I am excited for Kyle and RMEF, he brings a strong business acumen and a commitment to conservation. A powerful combination to move RMEF forward and further establish its leadership role in the conservation community,” said Holland. Upon completion of this transition, Nancy will return to her role on RMEF’s Board of Directors.

Kyle is a graduate of Longwood University in Virginia, where he attended on a collegiate baseball scholarship. Weaver is a founding board member and current Chairman of the Fathers in the Field mentoring ministry.

He, wife Ashley and their family will be relocating to Missoula.

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Nancy Holland to Serve as RMEF Interim CEO

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation announced that the Board of Directors has asked Nancy Holland to serve as president and CEO on an interim basis.

“To join the team at this time is very exciting. RMEF has a special place in my heart,” said Holland. “Stepping into this new role, forefront in my thoughts and actions are our members, donors, sponsors and fellow staff members and the conservation mission they have entrusted us to carry forward.”

Holland is taking a leave from the RMEF Board of Directors, where she served since 2016, while the search continues for a long-term replacement. She and husband Howard are staunch supporters and life members who also served together as co-chairs of RMEF’s Habitat Council.

“Throughout my time with RMEF I have been blessed to meet and befriend wonderful, passionate people. It is these people, individuals, families and corporations that are the essence of RMEF. We come together in our passion for the future of elk and other wild life, wild places and our tradition of hunting. It’s what makes RMEF great.”

A graduate of St. Louis University, Holland has 35 years’ experience in investment and finance including managing a team of global investment professionals working on behalf of their international clients. Since 2009, she served as managing partner of Sapphire Point Partners LLC, which specializes in business consulting and real estate investment.

“RMEF has a strong financial footing, solid membership growth and an environment that supports our mission. We have a 5-year plan that we have been executing. We are solidly on our way to accomplishing those goals and surpassing them,” added Holland. “At the end of the day, it’s all about delivering mission. It’s why we are all here.”

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Elk Habitat Protected, Hunting Access Improved in Colorado

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—Thanks to a conservation-minded landowner and a key state funding program, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation joined Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) to permanently protect 2,677 acres of vital elk habitat in northwest Colorado.

“We are grateful to Rick Tingle, a RMEF life member, for placing a conservation easement on his Louisiana Purchase Ranch,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “Additionally, this project highlights the critical need for the Colorado Wildlife Habitat Program (CWHP) and its Habitat Stamp which supplied important funding to help push things through to the finish line.”

“With a fast-growing human population, it is more important than ever before to ensure the state’s wildlife has the habitat it needs to survive in perpetuity,” said Bill de Vergie, CPW area wildlife manager. “Thanks to funds provided by Great Outdoors Colorado and CPW’s Habitat Stamp Program, a very valuable stretch of land is now protected through the CWHP. Some limited public hunting access will also be provided so the benefits of this easement will pay dividends well into the future.”

CWHP provides a means for CPW to work with private landowners, local governments, and conservation organizations to protect important fish and wildlife habitat and provide places for people to enjoy opportunities to hunt and fish.

Since the ranch is bordered on three sides by State Land Board and Bureau of Land Management land in a part of the state home to Colorado’s largest elk herds, it provides connectivity for elk and mule deer migration. Thousands of elk pass through the area during the spring and fall. The property also provides summer and winter range for both species and other wildlife.

“This truly is a special place,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO, who has visited the location. “We are grateful to the Tingle family for recognizing and helping us protect the wildlife values of this land.”

Access is improved to surrounding public lands because the landowner will provide perpetual unlimited permission to public hunters for a 25-day period each year with drive-through access. In addition, he signed off on a 10-year CPW agreement to provide access for six elk and/or deer hunters on lands off County Road 23 during a three-day window during Colorado’s third rifle season.

Since 1987, RMEF and its partners completed 726 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Colorado with a combined value of more than $165.2 million. These projects protected or enhanced 447,910 acres of habitat and opened or improved public access to 107,992 acres.

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RMEF Eyes New Leadership, Maintains Same Conservation Mission

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation announced Chief Executive Officer David Allen is stepping down effective January 31, 2018.

“With David’s cooperation, RMEF has been able to implement a transition plan to ensure RMEF’s continued success in the years to come,” said Philip Barrett, RMEF chairman of the board. “David and his family have become an integral part of the RMEF family. We thank him for his contributions and leadership and wish him the best of success in his future endeavors.”

As RMEF moves forward, it maintains a focus on its long-standing conservation mission of ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.

During Allen’s tenure, RMEF recorded nine consecutive years of record membership growth, conserved or enhanced nearly 1.8 million acres of wildlife habitat, opened or improved access to nearly 600,000 acres of public land and erased $16 million in debt to become debt-free for the first time ever. The organization also increased its volunteer base to more than 11,000 and assisted with successful elk reintroductions in Missouri, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Additionally, RMEF significantly boosted its hunting heritage outreach and advocacy efforts, secured in excess of $50 million in endowed funds, including the establishment of the Torstenson Family Endowment, and launched the Elk Network, an online digital platform dedicated to all things elk and elk hunting.

“I have enjoyed every day of my nearly 11 years here at RMEF. This is a great organization with some of the best wildlife professionals anywhere,” said Allen. “I support the board of directors’ search for a new CEO to take RMEF to the next level. I expect great things for RMEF in the future. I have other projects that interest me and this is a great time to pursue those opportunities.”

RMEF will release developments in its search for new leadership in the near future.

 

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