Elk NetworkSouth Dakota Volunteers Live it Up at the Lady C

Volunteer News | September 21, 2022

The Lady C Ranch, also known as Wildcat Canyon, was a June 18th, 2011, RMEF land acquisition. This 2400-acre property holds some of the most important elk and wildlife habitat in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Over the years, the interior fences have become a hinderance to the wildlife on the property. On June 9-11th 2022, 48 South Dakota RMEF volunteers came together on The Lady C Ranch to help improve habitat for elk and other wildlife.

Their goal was to remove six miles of old fence, remove a scrap iron pile and improve the existing water sources on the property. Over the years, South Dakota RMEF has continued to push the limits of their summer rendezvous work project. On top of the thousands of hours spent on fundraising banquets to raise money for conservation, these volunteers take another weekend and put boots on the ground to help with habitat projects like this every year. In just two days, the volunteers were able to remove over eight and a half miles of old fence, load a 7x8x28ft container full of tanks and fencing material, remove nearly nine tons of scrap iron, which includes some old vehicles and agriculture implements and were able to clear three springs to provide water to wildlife in the area.

The South Dakota Summer Rendezvous is always a great time for team building and fellowship. The rendezvous typically starts on a Thursday night with an ice cream social for the campground followed by workdays on Friday and Saturday. Each day lunch is served at the work sites and the crew returns to camp to have dinner as a family. Friday night hosts guest speakers from South Dakota Game Fish and Parks, Custer State Park, Wind Cave National Park and the Forest Service. Saturday after dinner is a general raffle and gun drawing.  On Sunday, breakfast is served followed by our State Leadership Team meeting. Going over new ideas for banquets, an update on year-to-date net dollars raised and plans for the following years rendezvous.

If you are interested in joining us in 2023 for our Summer Rendezvous, you can contact Regional Director Mason Cooper at mcooper@rmef.org