Top Volunteers Honored by Elk Foundation

Top Volunteers Honored by Elk Foundation

FORT WORTH, Texas — -( Honored for their volunteer work to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat, conservationists from New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Tennessee have received a 2009 Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Chairman’s Award.

Honorees include:

  • John Hoffman, Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Stan Kunzman, Bend, Ore.
  • John & Linda Geissler, Erie, Pa.
  • Jerry Stout, Lafollette, Tenn.

The awards were given during the Elk Foundation’s 25th annual convention, held March 5-8 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Andy Hoxsey, RMEF chairman of the board, said, “Chairman’s Awards recognize volunteers for standout contributions of time and energy toward the Elk Foundation’s mission. The work of these individuals last year was a real inspiration to the 10,000-plus of us who volunteer for the Elk Foundation.”

In 2008, RMEF volunteers raised funds for 456 conservation and education projects.

Land protection projects, including a major land exchange that added 61,000 acres of elk habitat to the state forest system in Washington, impacted 99,348 acres. Habitat enhancement projects like weed treatments, forest thinning and prescribed burns touched another 161,551 acres. Combined acres totaled 260,899.

Education and hunting heritage projects helped over 200,000 students and adults learn more about conservation and America’s sporting heritage.

Brief bios of recipients:

Stan Kunzman, Bend, Ore.
RMEF Northwest Region, Central Oregon Chapter
Kunzman helped found the Oregon State Leadership Team and served as Central Oregon Chapter Chair from 1996 to 2000. He and wife Karen have attended and helped at more than two-dozen fundraiser banquets across the state. As the stewardship liaison for the Ochoco National Forest, Kunzman has assisted with numerous on-the-ground projects.

John Hoffman, Albuquerque, N.M.
RMEF Southwest Region, Albuquerque Chapter
As New Mexico State Chair, Hoffman has attended and helped at fundraiser events across his state. He has helped lead events that have netted more than $100,000 for habitat conservation. Hoffman also has donated his time and expertise as a professional electrician to work for RMEF at the Double H Ranch.

Jerry Stout, Lafollette, Tenn.
RMEF Southeast Region, Royal Blue Chapter
Stout helped spearhead elk restoration in Tennessee. He has worked with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency on behalf of the Elk Foundation, teaching hunter safety courses, conducting workshops and radio tracking elk. Jerry is the Chairman of the Royal Blue Chapter, where he has works tirelessly on fundraising.

John & Linda Geissler, Erie, Pa.
RMEF Northeast Region, Elk Creek Chapter
The Geisslers are longtime co-chairs of the Elk Creek Chapter in Erie, Pa., but they volunteer as emcees at events all over the state. They recently helped coordinate a successful Volunteer Work Weekend at Elk Mountain Homestead near Benezette and are helping plan a 2010 grand opening for the Pennsylvania Visitor Center.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Snowy peaks, dark timber basins and grassy meadows. RMEF is leading an elk country initiative that has conserved or enhanced habitat on over 5.7 million acres—a land area equivalent to a swath three miles wide and stretching along the entire Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico. RMEF also works to open, secure and improve public access for hunting, fishing and other recreation. Get involved at or 800-CALL ELK.