MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and our partners awarded $96,425 of grant funding to benefit Alaska’s hunting heritage. RMEF directly granted $49,400 and leveraged an additional $47,025 in partner funding.
“Hunting and shooting sports are core to the lifestyles of Alaskans. These grants assist with a variety of programs and events ranging from a youth firearm safety camp to a women’s outdoor program to sponsorship of one of the nation’s top rifle programs,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “We appreciate our Alaska volunteers and members for generating this important funding.”
There are more than 1,100 RMEF members and three chapters in Alaska.
Since 1993, RMEF and its partners completed 133 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Alaska with a combined value of more than $6.3 million. These projects protected or enhanced 8,239 acres of habitat and opened or improved public access to 5,931 acres.
Below is a listing of Alaska’s 2019 projects, shown by event/organization.
Alaska National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP)
- Provide funding for a program now reaching students in more than 200 schools across Alaska. NASP aims to expand in Alaska by ten schools each year.
Alaska Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP)
- Provide funding for the 2019 Annual Alaska Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) Championship held at the Birchwood Recreation and Shooting Park in Chugiak. Up to 125 athletes representing 18 teams from Fairbanks to Ketchikan compete in Alaska's largest youth clay target competition.
Alaska Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC)
- Provide funding for the Alaska Youth Hunter Education Challenge State Championship held in Fairbanks. Boys and girls ages nine to senior in high school compete in eight different categories with a focus of building knowledge, skill and outdoor awareness.
Alaska Youth Shooting Sports Association (YSSA) Youth Sportsfest Firearms Safety Camp
- Provide funding for the annual event held at Birchwood Range in Chugiak for youth ages eight to 18. The camp is designed to foster an appreciation of the firearms culture via responsible hands-on training in a fun, safe environment.
Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Program
- Provide funding for an educational program that provides women with the skills, knowledge and confidence to venture outdoors. Participants learn about hunting, field dressing, fishing, dog mushing, kayaking, trapping and a variety of other activities.
Camp Iron Sights
- Provide funding and volunteer manpower for a wilderness experience camp focusing on self-development through a week-long, hands-on remote outdoor experience based out of Rainy Pass Lodge, Alaska's oldest hunting lodge. At-risk male youth ages 14 through 21 from several states learn firearms safety, archery, wilderness survival, wildlife conservation and other outdoor skills.
Tok Wolverine Trap Team
- Provide funding to educate youth in grades 5 through 12 about the safe enjoyment of trap shooting while learning individual and team-building skills.
USA Shooting Team
- Provide funding to assist a young Olympic hopeful from Wasilla, also a member of the Team USA National Junior Women’s Skeet Team.
University of Alaska Rifle Team
- Provide finding to support one of the top collegiate rifle programs in the country.
Valdez Junior Rifle Club
- Provide funding to assist participants to travel to and compete at the Civilian Marksman Program’s Junior Olympic Three-Position Air Rifle National Championships in Ohio. The club provides young men and women an education in firearm safety and the opportunity to learn responsibility, sportsmanship, teamwork, self-discipline and other skills.
Alaska project partners include the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and other conservation, sportsmen, business, university and civic organizations as well as various private individuals.
About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Founded 35 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of nearly 235,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 7.5 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, elknetwork.com or 800-CALL ELK.