MISSOULA, Mont. — The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation recently surpassed more than eight million acres of lifetime conservation work over its 36-year history.
“This is a noteworthy landmark and one worth celebrating, yet what we’re really talking about is significant, measurable on the ground conservation accomplishment that permanently protects or enhances wildlife habitat across elk country and benefits a majestic and iconic species,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “The trickle down effects also positively impact countless game and non-game species alike, improve public access and benefit our hunting tradition.”
RMEF crossed the 8 million-acre threshold after making a $50,000 donation for a 2,892-acre conservation easement in the Pine Ridge region of northwest Nebraska, an area that provides prime habitat for elk, bighorn sheep and other wildlife in addition to important riparian habitat connected to numerous springs, a creek and the White River.
Despite the unique challenges of carrying out meaningful conservation work during the 2020 pandemic, RMEF so far closed 21 land protection projects in 10 different states. RMEF also collaborated with partners to dole out millions of dollars in grants for forest thinning, prescribed burns, invasive weed treatments, the establishment of wildlife water sources and other habitat enhancement and hunting heritage projects as well as elk-related scientific research.
“This milestone would not be possible without the support of our volunteers, members, partners and sportsmen and women,” added Weaver. “No matter where you are on any one of these eight million acres, there’s a good chance you will catch a whiff of the unmistakable scent of elk. Because every foot of land we protected, enhanced or opened to public access is elk habitat. And going forward, we have much more to do.”
About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Founded more than 36 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of nearly 235,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 8 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 or 800-CALL ELK.