MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation celebrates its 30th birthday by honoring its past while looking to accelerate its mission in the present and future.
“It’s almost unimaginable to see how far we’ve come as an organization since we struggled just to keep our heads above water three decades ago,” said Charlie Decker, RMEF co-founder. “The reason we made it is because our strong base of volunteers. I am so grateful for them.”
“The growth and on-the-ground accomplishments of the RMEF is a tremendous blessing,” said Bob Munson, RMEF co-founder. “Our members, volunteers and staffers are like a family. They really care and make a difference for elk and elk country every day.”
Munson and Decker were among four hunters from northwest Montana who recognized the need to establish an organization dedicated to elk and elk habitat. Together, they founded the RMEF on May 14, 1984, and set up shop in the back room of a trailer house in Troy, Montana. Just a few years later, RMEF facilitated its first land acquisition and received a major donation that kick-started years of growth and success.
“We won’t remove our foot off the accelerator but it is important to take a moment and look in the rear view mirror to reflect back on the roots of this great organization. When you see all the effort and sacrifice it took to establish it, you develop a greater appreciation for where we are today,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO.
Since 1984, RMEF protected or enhanced more than 6.4 million acres of elk habitat, reintroduced elk to six states and one Canadian province, and opened or secured access to more than 708,000 acres for hunters and others to enjoy.
Today, RMEF has more than 203,000 members including 10,000-plus volunteers in 500 chapters who work tirelessly to raise funds for elk country while also taking part in boots-on-the-ground conservation and hunting heritage projects, and spreading the word that Hunting Is Conservation.
“We are doing more today than ever before to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage. And we maintain that same ‘Full speed ahead!’ course established by the passion and determination our founders,” added Allen.
RMEF will celebrate 30 Years of Volunteers at its Elk Camp national convention December 4-7, 2014, in Las Vegas. Highlights include a salute to volunteers on Volunteer Fun Night, country music performances, world-class auctions and the new Hunter Christmas Exposition, presented by Cabela’s.
About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Founded over 30 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of more than 200,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 6.4 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 www.rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.