May 13, 2016
RMEF Celebrates 32nd Birthday
MISSOULA, Mont.—Founded on May 14, 1984, by four elk hunters in northwest Montana, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is now celebrating 32 years of carrying out its conservation mission of ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.
“We are grateful for our founders, our dedicated volunteers and members, our conservation partners, and the sportsmen and women who have supported our mission these many years,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “We remain steadfastly committed to RMEF’s core programs of land protection, habitat stewardship, elk restoration and hunting heritage.”
To date, RMEF and its partners completed nearly 10,000 conservation and hunting heritage projects that protected or enhanced more than 6.8 million acres of habitat and opened or secured public access to more than 852,000 acres.
2015 marked RMEF’s seventh consecutive year of record membership growth. As of December 31, 2015, RMEF has 219,750 members and 11,000 volunteers who offer their time, talents and passion while working among more than 500 chapters across 49 states.
Since 1984, the elk population across North America more than doubled from 550,000 to greater than a million. That includes successful RMEF-supported elk restorations in Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin and Ontario, Canada. RMEF is also standing by to assist with ongoing elk restoration efforts in West Virginia.
“We have had some real successes and we’re thankful for that but we also recognize the tremendous challenges that lie ahead. We will continually raise our voice and advocate for issues that affect elk, elk country and the hunting community,” said Allen.
Those issues and concerns include the need for forest reform, public access, predator management and public land management as well as a multitude of legislative proposals in state government and the halls of Congress.
“It is incumbent upon each of us who care about our wildlife and our wild landscapes to get educated and involved with what’s happening around us. We must do so to maintain our privilege to hunt which also provides the lion’s share of funding for conservation efforts in North America,” added Allen.