No new land is being created; we only have so much. If we as outdoorsmen don’t work together to conserve the precious land we already have, then one day, it could be turned into a parking lot or a skyscraper instead of serving as a natural wildlife habitat.
In this series, Bass Pro Shops would like to highlight organizations that bring together good stewards of land and wildlife, promote conservation and make a difference.
Organization: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Mission: The Elk Foundation’s mission is to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat.
History: In 1984, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation was created by four Montana hunters who asked themselves, “What would life be like without elk and elk hunting?”
Following the formation of the organization, the founders from Troy, Mont., worked to build membership by mailing out brochures and by creating a new elk magazine, called Bugle.
Just a year after the Elk Foundation was created, it held its first convention and also awarded a grant to a graduate student conducting research on elk. And in the next few years, the Elk Foundation received a gift of $500,000 from Anheuser-Busch, secured a land acquisition of more than 16,000 acres, grew to 32,000 members and employed 12 staffers.
Today, the foundation has more than 185,000 members, 10,000 volunteers, 550 chapters spanning the country, and 150 staffers.
Efforts: The focus of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s conservation efforts is in three areas: wildlife management, habitat enhancement and research.
Through its resources and efforts, the Elk Foundation has restored dwindling and absent elk populations in states including Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin.
In addition to all its other work, the foundation has also put concentrated efforts into engaging and educating the country’s youth in elk and habitat stewardship, providing for conservation efforts to be a priority for generations to come.
To get involved, please be sure to contact your local chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. And for more information, please visit the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s website.