December 4, 2022

RMEF Celebrates 31 Years of Conservation, Salutes Volunteers

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation honors and reveres its volunteers and members while celebrating its 31st anniversary of land and wildlife conservation work.

“Entering our fourth decade of conservation successes, we fully recognize that the organization would not be anywhere close to where it is today without the tireless and passionate dedication of our hard-working volunteers and the staunch support of our membership,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “They selflessly give of their time and talents in helping the RMEF carry out its mission of ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.”

Officially established by four hunters in northwest Montana on May 14, 1984, the RMEF founders created a vision to safeguard elk, elk hunting and the habitat they need to thrive. At that time, there were approximately 550,000 elk in North America. Today, there are well over one million.

RMEF has a membership of more than 205,000, including an army of 11,000 volunteers in 500-plus chapters around the nation. To date, those volunteers helped the RMEF carry out 9,336 projects to protect or enhance more than 6.6 million acres of prime habitat for elk and other wildlife while also opening or securing nearly 770,000 acres of land for hunters and others to enjoy. RMEF also helped restore elk to their native range in six states and one Canadian province.

2014 statistics for reported* on-the-ground volunteer projects:
?• 1,039+ volunteers
?• 10,329 hours
?• 155+ projects
?• 111+ chapters represented
?• 31 states

(*Many volunteer projects are unreported while others are unreported or not yet captured in the RMEF data base. These reported projects do not include significant volunteer numbers or time supplied for chapter banquets and other fundraising events.)

Volunteer activities in 2014 included removing old fencing, planting trees, pulling noxious weeds, hunter education instruction, hosting youth and wounded veteran hunts, installing wildlife water guzzlers, serving as mentors at youth camps, thinning encroaching conifers from meadows, building exclosures around recovering aspen stands, teaching kids about elk and elk habitat, removing “No Hunting” signs on lands protected by RMEF that are now in public ownership, and many other activities.

“It is important to pause and recognize significant accomplishments and milestones as an organization, but going forward we have much more to do. Looking ahead to our fourth decade, we pledge to keep a foot on the gas pedal by doing more conservation and hunting heritage outreach work than ever before,” added Allen.

Learn more about RMEF’s volunteer program here.


Elk Camp 2013: A Celebration of Conservation Successes

MISSOULA, Mont. – The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is off to a spirited start in 2013 thanks to an enthusiastic gathering of members and volunteers at Elk Camp, the organization’s largest showcase of conservation that concluded March 3 in Las Vegas.

“It is always such a thrill to see so many good folks who are passionate about elk, elk country and conservation,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “The synergy and momentum generated from Elk Camp will propel RMEF to make more of a difference and carry out more significant on-the-ground projects in the coming year than ever before.”

Elk Camp highlights included:

* The announcement of the $30 million Torstenson Family Endowment which will allow RMEF to vastly accelerate its mission, attract more partner funds and more quickly head off habitat challenges nationwide, while passing on Bob Torstenson’s legacy and his passion for elk, elk hunting, and hunting heritage to the next generation.
* The presentation of RMEF’s highest honor, the Wallace Fennell Pate Wildlife Conservation Award, to the Torstenson family.
* Celebrations of 2012 accomplishments include protecting or enhancing more than 130,000 acres of habitat, restoring a wild elk herd in Virginia, and reaching more than 354,000 children and adults via 322 hunting heritage and conservation outreach projects in 43 states.
* The RMEF World Elk Calling Championships presented by Leupold and the first ever Champion of the Champions competition.
* Entertainment by the Charlie Daniels Band, Ronnie Dunn, Daryle Singletary and Josh Thompson.
* The unveiling of “America, the Beautiful,” a video performed exclusively for RMEF by Daryle Singletary.
* A tribute to wildlife artist and RMEF friend Larry Zabel.
* Auction highlights included an original Zabel painting ($33,000), an ACS log cabin ($80,000), a Boomer 3050 New Holland tractor ($40,000), a saddle mule ($30,000) and a black Labrador puppy ($5,500) to support the RMEF mission.
* Numerous awards and recognition for RMEF chapters, volunteers and partners.
* The largest Elk Camp exhibit hall with more than 350 companies in more than 600 booths.
* A sneak preview of season-three of the “RMEF Team Elk” TV show.
* Nearly 200 students from Las Vegas-area schools took part in the Youth Wildlife Conservation Experience, funded by Larry and Brenda Potterfield of MidwayUSA, to learn about elk, hunting and conservation.
* Evening events hosted at the Mirage for the first time.
* MidwayUSA was the official sponsor of Elk Camp 2013. Other sponsors included Aflac, Browning, Brunton, Budweiser, Danner, Cabela?s, Leupold, North American Hunter, Nationwide, Nosler, Realtree, Remington and Hunter’s Specialties.

“We are so grateful to MidwayUSA and all our sponsors, business partners, vendors, our volunteers and members, and all others who joined us from all over the country to take part in Elk Camp. Your passion and dedication to conservation inspires RMEF to lengthen our stride and do more good than ever before,” added Allen.