MISSOULA, Mont.—Renewing its commitment to provide training and hands-on experience for current and future wildlife professionals, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is extending and expanding its partnership with the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation of Dundee, Illinois, and its Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow (CLfT) program.
CLfT hosts five-day workshops for wildlife professionals and students who do not hunt. They leave with a deep understanding of hunting and its impact on conservation.
“Supporting CLfT helps RMEF meet its conservation mission of ensuring the future of our hunting heritage,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “We have witnessed first-hand that this program changes lives and that translates into a stronger understanding and more effective on-the-ground wildlife management practices. We are excited to extend our partnership an additional five years.”
Since partnering with CLfT in 2013, RMEF helped expand the program into the western United States. In exit surveys, 98 percent of participants said they acquired a better understanding of hunter motivations and nearly a third said they acquired a better understanding of the relationship between hunting and conservation. Nearly 9 out of 10 described their experience as “excellent.”
“Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s commitment to wildlife conservation and North America’s hunting heritage is second to none” said Dr. Zachary Lowe, CLfT director. “RMEF has embraced the CLfT program broadly and we are proud to have them as a national partner in CLfT’s mission of advancing an understanding of hunting, angling and trapping to the leaders that run state and federal agencies and manage our wildlife resources.”
CLfT does not try to recruit or train participants to be hunters. Rather, the goal is to provide class members with insights into why hunting is important from biological, social, cultural, economic and recreational standpoints. In return participants may advance their careers, better understand the hunting constituency and reinforce the core mission of their individual state and federal agencies.
“RMEF maintains that Hunting Is Conservation and CLfT’s curriculum spells out exactly that for our current and future wildlife leaders,” added Henning.
About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Founded over 30 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of more than 220,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 7.1 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.