Plea Agreement Reached in Wyoming Poaching Cases

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/plea-agreement-reached-in-wyoming-poaching-cases/

Below is a news release from the Wyoming Game & Fish Department. For 2023-2025, Fiocchi partnered with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to increase the visibility of poaching incidents in an effort to reduce poaching.

Plea agreements between Florida resident Jeb Rou and county attorneys in Campbell and Johnson counties were approved in November 2023, ending a multi-year investigation by Wyoming Game and Fish Department law enforcement officers that resulted in more than $137,000 in fines and restitution among three individuals.

On Dec. 5, 2019, North Gillette Game Warden Kristen Strom responded to a poaching call from an anonymous member of the public. The reporting party informed a local landowner that a deer had been shot and he saw three individuals hiding the deer on the landowner’s property. Later that night, with help from the landowner, Strom caught Gillette resident Eric Sorensen and Georgia resident Justin Price attempting to retrieve the illegally killed deer. Rou fled the scene and was not apprehended.

As the investigation began, multiple wildlife violations for all three suspects were discovered dating to December 2018, including eight buck mule deer and one bull elk taken out of season or wantonly destroyed.

Evidence showed the majority of violations occurred at night with Rou, Price and Sorensen using thermal imaging rifle scopes and spotlights to find and poach mule deer and elk in Campbell and Johnson Counties. However, in one daytime poaching instance, the trio shot and killed a buck mule deer in a Gillette subdivision, shooting long distance over a church playground, two roads and two homes. The animal was left to waste.

The investigation also uncovered wildlife violations in six other states, some of which were past those states’ statute of limitations and so could not be charged.

“There is not a statute of limitations for wildlife crime committed in Wyoming, so we were able to charge all three suspects with several of their poaching crimes even though some occurred several years ago,” said Strom.

As violations were discovered during the investigation, Price and Sorensen made multiple court appearances in 2020 and 2021 in Campbell County.

Sorensen received $15,640 in fines and had his hunting, fishing and trapping privileges suspended for 20 years. He also served 30 days in jail.

Price received $40,165 in fines and had his hunting, fishing and trapping privileges suspended for 23 years. He also served 30 days in jail.

Although Rou had returned to Florida in December 2019, Strom and Wyoming Game and Fish Department investigators worked with Campbell County prosecutors to issue nationwide extraditable warrants for Rou. After three years, Rou was apprehended in January 2023 following a high-speed vehicle pursuit with officers in Florida. He was arrested and extradited back to Wyoming by the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office on wildlife warrants.

“Wyoming has extradited suspects from surrounding states for wildlife crimes before, but never from across the country,” said Strom. “This case really sets a precedent. If you poach in Wyoming, you will be held responsible for those crimes, regardless of where you live.”

In November 2023, Rou agreed to plea agreements for taking big game out of season and wanton destruction of big game in Campbell and Johnson counties. He received a total of $31,505.80 in fines and his hunting, fishing and trapping privileges were suspended for 27 years. He also recently completed a 60-day jail sentence in the Campbell County Detention Center.

Rou, Price and Sorensen will also jointly pay $50,000 in restitution for the wildlife they killed.

“This case came to a successful conclusion thanks to help from officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks,” said Strom. “We also appreciate the support of Campbell and Johnson County prosecutors, and particularly the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office, which worked hard to extradite Rou back to Wyoming to face these wildlife charges. But most importantly, we are thankful for the anonymous member of the public who reported the initial violation, which allowed us to begin this investigation.”

As required by state statute, the fines in these cases will be distributed to the public-school fund in the counties where the violations occurred.

As required by state statute, restitution in these cases will be deposited into a Wyoming Game and Fish Department account that is used to purchase access easements to public and private land.

Wyoming and 48 other states participate in the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact. If a person loses hunting or fishing privileges in one state, the revocation is also in effect in all other partner states.

Tips and information about suspected wildlife violations can be provided online through the Wyoming Game and Fish website at wgfd.wyo.gov or by calling 1-877-WGFD-TIP (1-877-943-3847).

(Photo credit: Wyoming Game & Fish Department)

The post Plea Agreement Reached in Wyoming Poaching Cases appeared first on Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Woman Gored by Mule Deer Outside Colorado Home

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/woman-gored-by-mule-deer-outside-colorado-home/

Below is a news release from Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers are searching for a mule deer buck that attacked a 67-year-old woman outside the door of her home and gored her.

The attack occurred in the center of Silver Cliff, a town of about 600, located 55 miles west of Pueblo in the Wet Mountain Valley between the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the west and the Wet Mountains in sparsely populated Custer County.

The victim told CPW officers that she was attacked by a small buck mule deer after leaving the front door of her home. The buck was described as having two spikes on each antler.

Luckily, the victim was able to get back into her home and call her husband for help. She sustained a puncture wound to her left leg and significant bruising on the right leg. She was taken to a hospital in Pueblo for treatment.

After the attack, two young bucks were seen sparring in the yard, common behavior during the deer rut, or mating season.

“A wildlife officer went to investigate and found a bird feeder in the yard,” said Mike Brown, CPW Area Wildlife Manager in the region. “The victim told a CPW officer that she feeds birds and had thrown out bread earlier that day.”

Brown said there had been no recent reports of aggressive deer in Silver Cliff. He said the nature of the attack – so close to a house – immediately raised concerns that someone had been feeding the deer, causing it to lose its fear of people.

“I believe this is a good example of what happens when deer lose their natural fear of humans,” Brown said. “They become aggressive and dangerous. This is a good reminder that wild animals should always be treated as such, and that people need to give wildlife the space they need.

“We’re glad this woman wasn’t more seriously injured.”

If found, the deer will be euthanized to prevent future attacks on humans.

(Photo credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife)

The post Woman Gored by Mule Deer Outside Colorado Home appeared first on Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Habitat Conserved, Opened to Public Access in Pennsylvania’s Elk Range

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/habitat-conserved-opened-to-public-access-in-pennsylvanias-elk-range/

MISSOULA, Mont. — The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation collaborated with the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) and private landowners to conserve what were 649 acres of private land in the heart of Pennsylvania’s elk range and place it in the public’s hands.

The Goetz Summit Acquisition project area is about five miles east of St. Marys and will be incorporated into State Game Lands (SGL) 14 for hunting, fishing and other recreational access.

“Every little piece of elk habitat matters,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “This transaction protects crucial winter, year-round and transitional range for elk, whitetail deer, black bears, wild turkeys and other wildlife. It also opens the door for active forest management to enhance forage and habitat for all of these species as well as improve overall forest health.”

The project also conserves a segment of Big Run, a designated Class-A trout stream that supports wild brook trout, and its associated riparian habitat.

Funding sources include Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund, PGC, RMEF and The Nature Conservancy.

RMEF has an extensive conservation history in Pennsylvania. Since 1994, it worked with partners to conserve or enhance 29,443 acres of habitat and opened or improved public access to 10,838 acres. That includes more than 30 land conservation and habitat stewardship projects within 20 miles of this latest project site.

RMEF is working with PGC to close phase II of the project, which would add an additional 1,739 acres to State Game Lands 14, in 2025. Doing so will create a contiguous link of more than 21,500 acres of PGC-managed public access acres previously separated by the Goetz Summit property.

“When RMEF conducted their first land acquisition project east of the Mississippi in 1991, that tract became what is now State Game Lands 311. Since that time, they have been an integral partner in expanding the protected and publicly accessible landscape that is so important for elk in Pennsylvania,” said David J. Gustafson, PGC Bureau of Wildlife Habitat Management director. “With this most recent project, they continue to demonstrate their commitment to elk and elk habitat protection in the core of our PA elk range. The Goetz Summit/Bingaman project will provide connectivity of permanently conserved lands across the larger landscape. Protecting this property from development will add to the biological, recreational and scenic values associated with State Game Land No. 14. By placing this land into public ownership, RMEF helped the game commission expand habitat management opportunities for elk and other wildlife as well as opportunities for both hunters and non-hunters to enjoy wildlife based outdoor recreational pursuits. We look forward to more projects with RMEF as a partner that provide benefits to elk and to people that enjoy wildlife and we thank them for assisting with this acquisition.”

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

Founded more than 39 years ago and fueled by hunters, RMEF maintains more than 225,000 members and has conserved more than 8.8 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.

The post Habitat Conserved, Opened to Public Access in Pennsylvania’s Elk Range appeared first on Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Six Decades of Dedication

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/six-decades-of-dedication/

Lasting Legacies

By Gentry Hale

Born in Greeley, Colorado, northeast of Denver, John Nelson grew up camping and fishing with his father and five younger siblings. But it wasn’t until his dad’s friends invited them hunting that he would catch the bug, first for deer and then elk. That would change his life.

John is now both a proficient hunter and an elk enthusiast. During the ‘80s, Colorado instituted a four-point restriction on bulls in the herd that he typically hunted in the Colorado Flat Tops. It increased the percentage of bulls in the herd significantly. “Before this we had just figured we weren’t that good of hunters. We had only taken a few bulls,” he says. But when the data came out, it showed that prior to the four-point restriction, less than 3% of the White River herd were bulls. But not long after the four-point rule took effect, more than a quarter of the herd were bulls. John says that over the decades he has brought an elk home every seven years on average.

Hunting is about more than just the kill for John. He loves the challenge, the camaraderie, the difficulties and the experience. Taking home meat is just an added bonus.

The last few years John has hunted alone, but it hasn’t slowed him down. “Everybody I used to hunt with has either departed this earth or moved away,” he says, but he finds solace in solo adventures.

John has been as successful in the business world as he has in the elk woods. In 1979, he started the manufacturing company Gem Industries in north Denver. His business has produced parts for laser engravers, wheelchairs, wheelchair lifts, huge snowblowers used to clear airport runways, firearm accessories and more. “If it’ll fit in the machines, we will try to build it!” says John.

John and his wife Ok Cha spend as much time as possible with their family and friends. “And, you know the older you get the more that means to you. Your family means more, you’re lucky that you have a few really good friends, you’re just lucky that you stumbled into that many good people. That’s pretty much how I look at life,” he says.

John and Ok Cha enjoy spending time in the beautiful Colorado mountains, hiking, fishing and camping. When not working or spending time in the woods, John likes to tinker with his vintage Toyota Landcruiser and work in the yard.

Though he’d elk hunted for years, John didn’t know about RMEF until he heard about it from his brother-in-law. Then he began noticing RMEF ads in other hunting publications. “I saw a membership mail‑in card in a magazine and joined up!” he says.

He fell in love with RMEF’s mission, especially its success in land protection. John quickly began making an impact on the organization. He started by sending donations a few times each year, and eventually received a personal card from Darren DeLong, RMEF’s central development director, thanking him for his contributions. “Seven or eight months later I ran across the card and decided to give him a call,” remembers John. “We visited for a while and talked about different ways to contribute and continue our support.”

John is very passionate about conserving important habitat, including winter range, migration paths and other vital elk habitat. In his view, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is the only organization that is absolutely committed to and working toward this goal.

The next time DeLong was in Colorado the two men met up in person. “I went into the office of his machine shop and we had a wonderful conversation, and he mentioned an IRA gift at that time,” says DeLong. RMEF members can choose to donate a charitable amount from their Individual Retirement Account (IRA) each year. This can help avoid income taxes owed on the amount donated and also satisfies their required minimum distribution (RMD) for the year. It may even reduce an individual’s taxable income by keeping them from bumping up into a higher tax bracket.

John chose to donate his contribution because of his love for elk hunting and desire to conserve land. He dreams of someday purchasing a large swath of land and placing a conservation easement on it to keep it as open space and habitat for wildlife.

“John is such a good guy, he really is,” says DeLong. “Every time I talk to him, I’m just like, man, we have so many good supporters and solid people. And he is one of them.”

The post Six Decades of Dedication appeared first on Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

‘Historic Conservation Milestone’ Achieved in Appalachian Elk Country

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/historic-conservation-milestone-achieved-in-appalachian-elk-country/

(Photo credit: Ben Childers)

MISSOULA, Mont. — Hunters, anglers, hikers and those who enjoy the outdoors now have perpetual access to 54,636 acres of private land in eastern Kentucky thanks to a landscape-scale voluntary conservation agreement by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF).

“This is an historic conservation milestone for Kentucky’s elk range and incredible expansion of hunter access in the state. The Cumberland Forest-Ataya project marks a significant step in ensuring the future of Appalachian elk herds, other wildlife, their habitat and hunting,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “This achievement would not be possible without our partners at KDFWR, TNC and NFWF.”

KDFWR will not only manage the acreage for wildlife habitat and public recreation but also for sustainable forestry and clean water. The project connects 274,000 acres of land stretching into neighboring Tennessee.

“This project is an historic win for nature and people in Kentucky and represents what our organizations can achieve working together,” said David Phemister, state director for The Nature Conservancy in Kentucky. “The largest conservation easement in Kentucky history, this project will provide access to nature for Kentuckians and visitors in perpetuity. I am proud of this accomplishment and our strong partnership with Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, and NFWF.”

While the Ataya is home to Kentucky’s elk herd, it also supplies important habitat for birds including ruffed grouse and migratory songbirds as well as numerous at-risk aquatic species found in the many streams that cross the property.

“Acquisition of the Cumberland Forest Wildlife Management Area is a tremendous victory for both wildlife conservation and public access. It demonstrates how we can accomplish so much more working together than we can as individual organizations,” said KDFWR Commissioner Rich Storm. “I want to thank the Kentucky General Assembly and all our partners for their financial and other support to secure this area for current and future generations to enjoy.”

RMEF supplied more than $2.5 million and significant volunteer support to help restore wild, free-ranging elk to their historic Kentucky range beginning in 1997. Today, that population is the largest east of the Mississippi River.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

Founded more than 39 years ago and fueled by hunters, RMEF maintains more than 225,000 members and has conserved more than 8.8 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.

The post ‘Historic Conservation Milestone’ Achieved in Appalachian Elk Country appeared first on Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Gear 101 – Buck Knives – Alpha Pro Series

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/gear-101-buck-knives-alpha-pro-series/

New in 2023, the Buck Knives Alpha Pro Series, knives that can withstand the rigors of hunting and heavy outdoor use.

The Alpha Pro Series consists of three different knives, the Alpha Scout Pro, the Alpha Guide Pro, and the Alpha Hunter Pro. Let’s take a closer look at the elements of these knives. The Alpha Series features drop point S35VN stainless steel blades. All three models have removable handles for easy cleaning. Chose your color – layered gorge patterned richlight or walnut dymalux. Each comes with a USA made, genuine leather fold-over sheath with double thick welt and double stitching. Wear your knife on your belt, or keep it safe in your pack. The Alpha Pro knives also have a lanyard hole and come with Buck Knives Forever Warranty.

The Alpha Scout Pro is the perfect knife for detailed work on large game like elk, moose and deer or small game. The high-ground blade shape moves easily through material without bunching. Jimping along the blade spine makes it easy to choke-up on the blade for trick cuts. The textured handle provides a strong grip even when wet. The Alpha Scout Pro retails for $225.

The Alpha Hunter Pro is a larger version of the Alpha Scout knife. The Hunter Pro comes in at 3.625 inches in length and weighs 4.59 ounces. It has the same high-panel flat grind that adds strength to the blade allowing you to cut with confidence. The S35VN steel will hold an edge through the field dressing process without needing to resharpen. The Alpha Hunter Pro retails for $250.

The Alpha Guide Pro is a multi-purpose field knife. It features a long blade edge with an upswept drop point blade. It has the same jimping along the spine as the other Alpha knifes to make it easy to choke-up on the blade. The Alpha Guide Pro is 4.375 inches long and weighs 5 ounces. The retail price is $265.

View the Alpha Series Knives at buckknives.com and purchase yours today!

The post Gear 101 – Buck Knives – Alpha Pro Series appeared first on Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Wandering Bull Suffers Deadly Fate Far from Home

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/wandering-bull-suffers-deadly-fate-far-from-home/

This is not how a love story is supposed to end. A four-year-old bull elk raised a lot of eyebrows during a high-profile journey looking for love. He started his wandering ways during breeding season near Black River Falls, Wisconsin, but died some 300 miles to the south after getting hit by a semi-trailer truck southwest of Chicago.

“He’s kind of a wild bull looking for a mate, so he obviously attempted a lot of different areas and was searching for a new one,” Christina Kizewski, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) biologist, told Wisconsin Public Radio. ” This type of movement was slightly unusual. That being said, we do receive a handful of reports every fall of these kinds of transient bulls — typically they’re less dominant, maybe younger bulls that haven’t quite staked their claim to breeding rights, to the cows in the associated herd.”

Wild, free-ranging elk returned to their historic Wisconsin range in 1995, thanks to a restoration effort by the DNR and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. They had been wiped out more than 130 years earlier because of habitat loss and unregulated hunting. Today, there are two herds numbering about 550 total animals. One is near Black River Falls while the other is about 150 miles to the north near Clam Lake.

Both of the communities are relatively remote but as the young bull headed south, it encountered a larger human population and many sightings along the way, as captured by this WKOW-TV report.

Unfortunately, taking that southern route forced the animal to unsuccessfully negotiate more roads and busy highways.

“This is a disappointing day,” Eric Lobner, DNR wildlife management program director, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

(Photo credit: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources)

The post Wandering Bull Suffers Deadly Fate Far from Home appeared first on Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Appalachian Elk Country Receives $842,662 in Funding

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/appalachian-elk-country-receives-842662-in-funding/

(Photo credit: Ben Childers)

MISSOULA, Mont. — The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and its partners supplied $842,662 in grant funding to bolster habitat, wildlife management and hunting heritage projects in Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

“Maintaining and improving habitat for elk, deer, wild turkey, black bears and other wildlife is essential to their well-being and future,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “Placing these dollars on the ground helps make that happen. We appreciate our partners for their support as well as our dedicated RMEF volunteers who helped raise this vital funding at banquets and other events.”

RMEF supplied $255,403 that helped leverage $587,259 in partner dollars.

Projects vary from creating wildlife openings or meadows, prescribed burning and removing invasive vegetation to an elk calf survival study and supporting mentored hunts.

The five-state region received $1.45 million in conservation funding in 2022.

Below is a complete list of the 2023-funded* projects, listed by state.

(*Projects that receive funding in one year often carry over into the subsequent years.)

Kentucky

  • Install upwards of 45 miles of fire lines to expand the use of prescribed burning to manage invasive vegetation and improve wildlife habitat on private mine land enrolled in the state’s public access program. A 4,000-acre burn will follow.

North Carolina

  • Provide funding for elk crossing signs with LED lighting to warn motorists traveling across S. Highway 19 in Jackson, Swain and Haywood Counties as well as Acquoni Road on Qualla Boundary.
  • Create four early seral wildlife habitat openings across 14 acres on William H. Silver Game Land. Removing large trees but keeping the stumps triggers sprouting that supplies important nutrients for elk and deer.
  • Provide funding support for the Talking Trees Children’s Trout Derby hosted by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. More than 2,000 kids attend and receive a free fishing pole and gear, t-shirt, hat and meals. RMEF volunteers assisted the event for 20 years.

Tennessee

  • Supply funding for continuing capture and collaring efforts so researchers can better monitor elk calf survival and mortality causes. RMEF previously funded research to monitor adult elk survival, habitat use and diet selection.
  • Create the first of four planned wildlife habitat openings on the New River Unit of the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area (WMA).
  • Treat 165 acres to improve habitat for elk, deer, black bears, turkeys, grouse and other wildlife by reducing an overabundance of woody vegetation on the WMA. The project sets the table for future prescribed burning to further enhance forage.
  • Thin 38 acres of overly thick tree stands on the WMA as well as thickets that offer little wildlife value in preparation for future prescribed burns.
  • Supply funding support for the mentored hunts of 10 veterans hosted by Cross the Divide, a nonprofit that offers vets an opportunity to experience nature, learn or rekindle a love for hunting, and provide meat for their families.

Virginia

  • Treat nonnative, invasive vegetation across 58 acres in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests. The project builds on earlier RMEF-funded work to improve habitat in the North Fork of Pound Lake area in the Virginia Elk Management Zone.
  • Improve forage and water resources across nine acres of privately owned land in Buchanan County within and near the elk release site.
  • Raised $54,855 for habitat stewardship work to improve forage for elk and other wildlife by raffling off the 2023 Virginia elk conservation tag.

West Virginia

  • Treat 15 acres of invasive vegetation on reclaimed mine lands on the Big South WMA. About six miles from the original elk release site on the Tomblin WMA, it supplies habitat for elk, deer, ruffed grouse, turkey and other wildlife species.

Nationwide

  • Provide funding support for 40 disabled hunters from across the country to participate in mentored deer hunts hosted by Hands of a Sportsman in North Carolina.

Project partners include the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, West Virginia Department of Natural Resources and sportsmen, conservation, business and civic groups as well as private individuals and foundations.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

Founded more than 39 years ago and fueled by hunters, RMEF maintains more than 225,000 members and has conserved more than 8.8 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.

The post Appalachian Elk Country Receives $842,662 in Funding appeared first on Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

West Virginia Mulls Expanding Its Elk Population

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/west-virginia-mulls-expanding-its-elk-population/

West Virginia’s elk population continues to slowly grow and now wildlife officials are considering speeding up that growth with a reintroduction from another state, possibly next-door neighbor Kentucky.

“There are several challenges in elk acquisition, but we are in a phase where we’re looking at some possible increase in numbers,” Brett McMillion, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources director, told recently told a West Virginia Legislature subcommittee, as reported by West Virginia News. “When we get to that point where we’re actually able to make an announcement, the governor will certainly be the one doing that. I know he’s very excited about it.”

The biggest challenge may be the recent confirmation of Kentucky’s first documented case of chronic wasting disease. CWD is always fatal disease that spread across half of all U.S. states including Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee – six of seven states that share a border with Kentucky. It can affect deer, elk and other ungulates.

West Virginia currently has a population numbering about 110 elk and hopes to double that number before allowing a limited hunt, which can generate significant funding to financially bolster elk management.

Elk hunts currently take place in the nearby states of Arkansas, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia.

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation supplied funding and volunteer support the original restoration of elk to their historic West Virginia range in 2016 as well as a 2018 joint relocation effort by the West Virginia Division of Wildlife Resources, Arizona Game and Fish Department, and RMEF.

(Photo credit: West Virginia Department of Natural Resources)

The post West Virginia Mulls Expanding Its Elk Population appeared first on Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

RMEF Recognized for Advocacy Work

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/rmef-recognized-for-advocacy-work/

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation received special recognition for its contributions to advancing conservation. The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) presented RMEF with the 2023 Friend of NASC Award.

NASC is the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC), a network of state legislative sportsmen and women caucuses that operate in all 50 states to advance the interests of hunters, anglers, trappers, recreational shooters and professional wildlife management in state legislatures.

“When an issue emerges in a state capitol, usually my first call is to the regional NASC representative of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation to connect me with the sportsmen legislators in the state. Their local knowledge and advice are critical, especially in states where it isn’t cost effective for RMEF to employ a lobbyist of our own,” said Ryan Bronson, RMEF director of government affairs. “Having active sportsmen’s caucuses helps RMEF advocate for our members, so we are happy to be named a ‘Friend of NASC’ because NASC has been a friend to us.”

The 20th annual NASC Sportsman-Legislator Summit took place on December 7, 2023, in Dewey Beach, Delaware. It is the only national conference for state legislators dedicated to advancing America’s hunting, recreational shooting and trapping heritage.

“This summit is the most important time of the year for sportsman-legislators, providing an opportunity to not only share policy challenges and successes from their states, but also to learn new strategies to help ensure there is a future for our time-honored traditions across the country,” said CSF President and CEO Jeff Crane.

As part of RMEF’s support of CSF and its work with Congress and the federal government, RMEF also supports state caucuses, including participating in state advisory committees, supporting local caucus events, and supplying technical advice when legislators need it.

(Photo credit: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation)

The post RMEF Recognized for Advocacy Work appeared first on Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.