Elk NetworkHunting Is Conservation – Measuring the Value of Conservation

Hunting | December 21, 2021

On-the-ground conservation work makes a significant, long-lasting difference for land and wildlife, but how do you measure its value?

On a day to day basis, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation constantly looks forward, seeking to further its mission to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.

Still, it does so, knowing one glance in the rearview mirror shows a robust resume featuring decades of measurable conservation accomplishment.

From its founding in 1984 to the end of 2020, RMEF and its partners carried out more than 13,000 hunting heritage and conservation projects with a total value of more than $1.3 billion.

Those numbers are hard to comprehend so here are a few examples that provide some coast-to-coast clarity.

In 1987, RMEF protected and opened what’s now the 16,640-acre Robb Creek Wildlife Management Area in Montana.

In 2013, RMEF and partners protected and opened access to more than 13,000 acres of elk country in the headwaters of the John Day River in Oregon.

In 1997, RMEF provided critical funding and volunteer support to successfully restore elk to their historic Kentucky range. Today, the herd numbers more than 13,000.

In 2019, RMEF dollars assisted with a Colorado wildlife crossing project that safeguards both drivers and wildlife alike.

Also in 2019, RMEF funding assisted with construction costs of a facility in Washington – the only one of its kind in the world – focused on elk hoof disease.

In recent years, RMEF provided funding for a multi-year Idaho habitat enhancement project seeking to remove encroaching conifers across 600,000 acres of wildlife range.

And in 2020, RMEF played a key role in an intimate White House meeting that ultimately led to permanent, full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund – a program that provides millions of dollars for the protection of important land, water and recreational areas for all Americans to enjoy.

Supported by hunters, RMEF’s life-long pursuit of land protection, habitat enhancement, and promoting wildlife management and our hunting heritage all highlight how hunting is conservation.