MISSOULA, Mont. -(Ammoland.com)- Riding a wave of conservation success, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation enters 2018 with 227,650 members, marking its ninth consecutive year of record membership growth.
“This continual sustained growth is a reflection of our on-the-ground conservation mission and improved advocacy and outreach efforts,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “We are grateful to our members, volunteers, partners and sportsmen and women who are so supportive.”
This new tally marks a 50 percent increase in membership since 2008 and a 2.4 percent increase from a year ago.
Among its 2017 highlights, RMEF erased all long-term debt and remains debt-free for the first time in its 33-plus years. It also launched the Elk Network, a new online digital outreach tool focusing on all things elk and elk hunting.
Additionally, RMEF assisted with ongoing elk restoration efforts in Wisconsin and reaffirmed its support of America’s public lands. It also bestowed its highest conservation honor on its 11,000-plus volunteers for their dedicated efforts in boosting RMEF’s mission.
“While we value and appreciate this record growth trend, RMEF vows to do all we can to increase and accelerate our conservation mission of ensuring the future elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage,” added Allen.
Their full statment in support of America's public lands is below:
In light of continuing chatter and rhetoric aimed at privatizing federal public lands, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation continues to advocate its support for keeping public lands in the hands of America’s citizens.
“The 640 million acres of public land across the United States play a highly significant role in our wildlife system,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “Without them, our management system, which is the most successful in the world, would crumble and the health of our wildlife populations would deteriorate.”
Allen publicly challenged Steve Hanke, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, who called on the government to sell public lands to private ownership in a recent issue of Forbes magazine.
“We cannot afford to play games here. What we need is a focused, pro-active land management approach for our public land assets in this country. RMEF will not waiver on supporting public lands but we are seeking better habitat management and the resources to make that happen,” said Allen.
Allen highlighted a recent elk migratory study by Dr. Arthur Middleton that shows how critical public lands are to the survival of elk in the Greater Yellowstone region.
“We have to manage our public lands with more of a focus on wildlife,” added Allen.
RMEF maintains its decades-long position that public lands must remain public and that such land needs to be managed for the benefit of wildlife and public access but especially for the overall health of forests, grassland and waterways.
Since 1984, RMEF and its partners completed nearly 11,000 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects with a combined value of more than $1 billion. These projects conserved or enhanced more than 7.1 million acres of wildlife habitat.
Since 1984, RMEF and its partners completed more than 11,000 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects with a combined value of more than $1.1 billion.
These projects protected or enhanced 7.2 million acres of habitat and opened or secured public access to 1.2 million acres.
About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Founded over 30 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of more than 227,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 7.2 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” on their website or 800-CALL ELK.