Elk NetworkRMEF Celebrates Four Decades of Conservation

40th Anniversary , General , News Releases | May 13, 2024

MISSOULA, Mont. — Founded on May 14, 1984, riding 40 years of conservation momentum and knocking on the door of nine million acres of conserved or enhanced wildlife habitat, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation paused to honors its volunteers, supporters and celebrate its lifetime mission accomplishments. 

“I can’t believe where we are today but you are the people that made it happen,” said RMEF co-founder Charlie Decker, addressing a venue of members, volunteers and supporters at RMEF’s recent anniversary celebration. “We (the RMEF founders) are just the vehicle that the good Lord used a long time ago that didn’t know what they were doing. But we’re here and we’re here to stay!” 

To forever honor the contributions of Decker and fellow co-founder Bob Munson, RMEF announced it will erect life-sized bronze statues of the two later this summer at its headquarters in Missoula, Montana. 

“Our founders will now forever welcome anyone and everyone coming to see RMEF. They will also stand guard to ensure that we never stray from the humble beginnings from which we were formed,” said Fred Lekse, RMEF Board of Directors chair. 

40th anniversary celebration events included Volunteer Fun Night, an evening solely dedicated to highlighting the efforts of individual volunteers, chapters and states in raising critical funding to support RMEF’s mission of ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage. 

“It can’t be overstated. The most valuable thing RMEF volunteers give is their time. Because of thousands of them around the country, we put more money on the ground to make more of a difference,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president & CEO. “Looking forward, RMEF is in a position of strength and influence to be more impactful for wildlife, hunting, public access, conservation and advocating for our mission priorities.” 

Additional RMEF 40th Anniversary Celebration Highlights 

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:   

Founded in 1984 and fueled by hunters, RMEF has conserved more than 8.9 million acres for elk and other wildlife. RMEF also works to open and improve public access, fund and advocate for science-based resource management, and ensure the future of America’s hunting heritage. Discover why “Hunting Is Conservation” ® at rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.