Meet Your New Regional Directors

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/meet-your-new-regional-directors-3/

Get to know two of the newest members of RMEF’s Field Staff: Tyler Wetterau and Dameon Metzger


 

Name: Tyler Wetterau

State/Region: Northern Wisconsin

Family (two-legged or four): Wife: Monique, Daughter: Sage, Son: Slade, Dog: Willow

Favorite outdoor activities: Hunting, fishing and golf

Why did you want to work for RMEF: I wanted to make a difference in the future of elk and other wildlife in our state. That way, my children can have an even better opportunity to hunt the animals we love so much.

 

 

 


 

Name: Dameon Metzger

State/Region: Michigan

Family (two-legged or four): Wife Jennifer of almost 21 years, 17-year-old son Dylan and 15-year-old son Wyatt

Favorite outdoor activities: hunting and fishing

Goals for your state/region: Grow Michigan to be a top state in East region, expand the number of chapters and get more volunteer involvement in work projects.

Why did you want to work for RMEF: To conserve all of God’s creation for my son’s and future generations.

Anything else you want to say? I am very excited to be working for RMEF and the amazing volunteers we have within the organization and I look forward to getting the RMEF name and mission out to all areas of Michigan.

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Work Project Calendar

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/work-project-calendar/

Interested in attending an RMEF work project? Keep an eye out for upcoming opportunities near you!


Washington Oak Creek Wildlife Area Work Party

May 31 & June 1 near Naches, WA

For more information, contact Dan Paulson at 425-275-1975

 

Michigan RMEF Spring Work Project

June 1 near Atlanta, MI

For more information, contact Clint Salisbury at 734-347-1165

 

Missouri State Volunteer Work Project & Rendezvous

June 1 near Eminence, MO

For more information, contact Eric Brown at 785-466-3398

 

Washington Mt. St. Helens Mudflow Work Party

June 7-8 near Toutle, WA

For more information, contact Rodger Wallace at 360-274-8404

 

Nevada Little Sheldon Fence Project

June 7 at the Sheldon Wildlife Refuge

For more information, contact Deanna Ackerman at 775-567-8041

 

Washington Asotin Work Party

June 14-16 near Asotin, WA

For more information, contact Terri Atkinson at 509-991-4669

 

Oregon Walla Walla District of the Umatilla National Forest Project

June 15 near Pendleton, OR

For more information, contact Tim Campbell at 541-379-6612

 

Oregon All Hands All Brands Work Project

June 21 near Deep Creek, OR

For more information, contact Elly Young: 541-420-5485

 

Idaho/Montana Hiawatha Trail Wire Pull

June 26 near Mullan, ID

For more information, contact Karee Head at 208-301-0386

 

Utah State Water Guzzler Work Project

June 29 near Richfield, UT

For more information, contact Ron Camp at 801-859-3474

 

Nevada Elk Guzzler Re-Build

June 29 near Ely, NV

For more information, contact Deanna Ackerman at 775-567-8041

 

Colorado Weston Pass Volunteer Fence Project

July 13 near Fairplay, CO

For more information, contact John Sand at 719-429-5124

 

Washington Turnbull National Wildlife Work Party

July 13 near Cheney, WA

For more information, contact Terri Atkinson at 509-991-4669

 

Colorado Kremmling BLM Fence Project

July 27 near Kremmling, CO

For more information, contact Jerry Pelis at jwdp43@comcast.net

 

Washington Little Pend Oreille Wildlife Work Party

August 8 near Colville, WA

For more information, contact Jill Ruscitto at (509) 220-8293

 

Colorado Golden Gate Canyon State Park

August 10 near Golden, CO

For more information, contact Stephen Winslow at smw2206@columbia.edu

 

Michigan Elk County Rendezvous/Work Weekend

September 7 near Wolverine, MI

For more Information, contact Clint Salisbury at 734-347-1165

The post Work Project Calendar appeared first on Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

April/May 2024 Advocacy Update

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/april-may-2024-advocacy-update/

State Updates

Oregon 

Over 200 RMEF members submitted recommendations to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission as it considered finalists for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife director position. The members encouraged the selection of a leader who understands and embraces the North American Model of Wildlife Management, including an appreciation for the role that hunters and anglers play in the social and economic success of the agency, as well as a leader who understands and is guided by the scientific research and data that sustains healthy populations of game and nongame wildlife. In the end the commission voted unanimously to select ODFW veteran Dr. Debbie Colbert, who by all accounts meets the criteria sought by RMEF.

Kentucky

Senator Robin Webb was selected as the recipient of the RMEF Excellence in Advocacy Award at a ceremony in April. Senator Webb played a key role in securing the permanent establishment of the 55,000-acre Ataya-Cumberland Forest Wildlife Management Area in the heart of Kentucky’s elk zone and has advocated for sportsmen and women in Kentucky and nationally through leadership of the National Association of Sportsmen’s Caucuses and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation.

In May, RMEF submitted official comments supporting a vegetation management project in the Daniel Boone National Forest, and RMEF members submitted additional comments by participating in an RMEF call-to-action. Environmental activists and old-growth proponents oppose the project to create forest openings and mixed age forests that will benefit elk, rugged grouse and other wildlife that depend on early seral forests.

Colorado

The Colorado session ended May 8, and as this piece was going to press some bills had not yet been signed or vetoed by the governor.

When introduced in January SB131 would have prohibited firearms on most state property including state wildlife areas. The bill was amended to apply only to legislative property (the Capitol), local government governing body offices (city council, county commissions) and courthouses. It passed and was sent to the Governor who is expected to sign it.

HB1292 was a new attempt to ban “assault weapons,” an effort ruled unconstitutional in the past. It was defeated in committee.

SB 171 authorizes the CPW to reintroduce wolverines but requires the state to receive flexibility from the feds through an Endangered Species Act 10j nonessential experimental population classification. RMEF has some concerns that environmental extremists will use the wolverine’s threatened status to block future forest management activity, but wolverines, as scavengers, are not of concern to elk and deer populations. The legislation went to the governor who is expected to sign it.

RMEF strongly supported SB126 to renew and expand conservation easement tax credits. RMEF staff testified twice before legislative committees and our contract lobbyists worked to protect this valuable private lands conservation tool. The bill passed and went to the governor.

SB26 was signed into law and will require Colorado Parks and Wildlife commissioners to meet with the stakeholder groups they are appointed to represent, including the commissioner who ostensibly represents “sportsmen.”

Two animal rights ballot measures for the city and county of Denver will be on the ballot this November. One will ban the sale of fur in Denver and the other will ban slaughterhouses. Both are being pushed by the same animal rights organization. The fur ban would impact sheared beaver felt cowboy hats as well as common fly-tying components.

HB1349 would drastically raise taxes on guns and ammunition in mockery of the Pittman-Robertson federal excise tax with most of the money dedicated to an amorphous victims fund. This bill was amended several times but was finally passed and will be on the November ballot since it constitutes a tax increase. The measure would create an added 6.5% tax on the retail sales of firearms, firearm precursor parts and ammunition.

 

FEDERAL 

Endangered Species Lawsuit

In April, the Center for Biological Diversity, Humane Society of the U.S. and other litigious activist organizations filed a lawsuit in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to put wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains back on the Endangered Species List. The federal judge accepted RMEF’s filing to intervene in the case along with Sportsmen’s Alliance and Safari Club International. RMEF attorneys will argue in defense of the science that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the states use to sustainable manage wolves.

Farm Bill

RMEF’s government affairs team spent more than a year working on reauthorization of the  Farm Bill by encouraging members of the U.S. House and Senate Agriculture Committees to include a targeted list of priorities that align with RMEF’s mission. After months of inaction, both the House and Senate committees recently released frameworks detailing the policies and priorities to be included in their respective versions of the Farm Bill. House Agriculture Committee Chairman GT Thompson announced a goal of passing the bill out of committee by Memorial Day.

RMEF commends the committees for taking this important first step and encourages both chambers to work collaboratively to pass a Farm Bill in the coming months that advances the interests of sportsmen and women.

Hunting groups like RMEF are focused on the Farm Bill because it contains the policies and funding for the majority of the private land conservation programs used by farmers and ranchers to protect habitat, as well as the programs that incentivize maintaining the intact, working private forestlands that support wildlife.

The Farm Bill expires every five years and is a massive legislative package comprising 12 titles that address a wide array of agriculture and conservation programs. RMEF is focused on its conservation and forestry titles. Row crop farmers and ranchers generally focus on the commodities, trade and crop insurance titles. The most expensive part of the bill is the “nutrition” title, which has grown sharply since the pandemic and is now estimated to be 82% of the $1.4 billion dollar baseline budget.

RMEF’s priorities for the conservation title include:

  • Authorization and adequate funding for a Forest Conservation Easement Program (FCEP) that prioritizes working forests and those managed for wildlife.
  • Reauthorization and expansion of the Voluntary Public Access Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP) that supports states’ private land, walk-in access programs.
  • Adequate funding for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) and encouraging their use for big game migratory corridor conservation and reforming eligibility requirements to increase landowner participation.

There are also several policy reforms that RMEF looks to include in the Farm Bill:

  • Expand existing authorities like the Good Neighbor Authority to incentivize and enable cross-boundary, active forest management projects through collaborative partnerships.
  • Streamline and expedite active forest management projects through reduced litigation, expanded categorical exclusions and reversing the Cottonwood

Both the House and Senate Agriculture committees look poised to mark up their Farm Bill versions in the coming weeks. While the initial frameworks appear promising, RMEF will continue to diligently advocate for wildlife conservation and sportsmen priorities.

 

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Volunteers Make an Impact in the Volunteer State

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/volunteers-make-an-impact-in-the-volunteer-state/

We may be biased, but we think the real reason Tennessee is called the “Volunteer State” is because of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation volunteers that work tirelessly to ensure the prosperity of the state’s growing elk herd. Expanding from a herd of 50 individuals when RMEF was integral in reintroducing an elk herd to the state in 2000, to the roughly 400 animals that roam the hills these days, Tennessee is a fantastic demonstration of the potential of eastern elk reintroductions. The success of the herds would not be possible without committed RMEF volunteers that give their time and talents to conserving elk and elk country. Here are a few recent projects, made possible, in part, by commendable fundraising efforts and on the ground help from volunteers.

Elk Take Flight

As with any big-game animal, having an intimate understanding of the factors that influence elk populations is critical for informing management. And sometimes, that work requires the use of helicopters. In Tennessee, researchers with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, University of Tennessee and Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources are teaming up to monitor calf mortality within Tennessee’s herds. Thanks to $842,662 in funding provided by RMEF and other conservation partners, researchers were able to capture cows with the use of helicopters and implant transmitters to know when calves hit the ground. Upon birth, the calves will be fitted with collars of their own. Their new piece of jewelry will monitor them over the course of their lives. It’s the hope that these calves live to grow old, but if they don’t, the collars will allow researchers to better understand the factors that limit the growth of the population. Funding for projects like this is generated by volunteers from throughout the state’s five chapters. Through hosting banquets and other fundraising events, volunteers generate critical funding to support the work of biologists who are committed to fostering health among the state’s elk.

Room with a View

Seeing the need to open up more areas for the recently established elk herd, RMEF helped purchase 74,000 acres of critical elk habitat north of Knoxville in 2002. The site, which became known as the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area, is rich with elk that will benefit from newly improved forage thanks to a new RMEF initiative that is being backed by volunteer support. RMEF has continued its commitment to improving elk country within this popular area for elk viewing by trucking in tons of seed and fertilizer to benefit these herds. To keep the newly planted oats, wheat, winter peas and clover producing bounties for years to come, RMEF volunteers will put in work. “The work doesn’t stop when the seed is planted,” says RMEF Regional Director Drew Parker. “RMEF volunteers will help maintain this forage by assisting with mowing, invasive weed treatment, and re-seeding, as necessary. Our phenomenal volunteers are eager to get in on the action to help maintain these spaces.” After working, volunteers can kick their feet up and watch the elk enjoy these spaces from the incredibly popular Hatfield Knob viewing tower.

Improving Access

No group of people rallies quite like enthusiastic Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation volunteers when it comes to improving elk habitat and passing on hunting heritage. In 2023, Tennessee’s chapters generated over $162,000 in net revenue to support the mission of the RMEF. These funds are then allocated to projects such as purchasing tracts of land, with the most recent example in the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area. RMEF threw financial support behind other conservation partners to help purchase an 850-acre parcel (see photo above) that will improve public access in the state’s elk zone.

The post Volunteers Make an Impact in the Volunteer State appeared first on Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Statewide Volunteer Gatherings

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/statewide-volunteer-gatherings/

Statewide RMEF volunteer events take place across the country. These gatherings help unite volunteers within a state and are great networking and learning opportunities for those who take part. Below, we will take a closer look at events being conducted in some states and share what opportunities and ideas are worth exploring.

State/Regional Workshop

State and regional workshops allow volunteers and staff to gather and learn about various topics specific to the needs of those participants. These annual volunteer gatherings should consist of training, motivating, leading, educating and sharing wins and accomplishments, awards and recognition, as well as team building. State leaders can invite select chapter leaders or key volunteers to attend these workshops. For example, there are several states that invite chapter chairs and co-chairs to attend, but in other cases any volunteer can attend. Many states hold these workshops either early or late in the banquet year, while others hold their meetings mid-year along with a rendezvous or work project.

Below are some ideas to present and discuss during these workshops:

  • Mission updates
  • New fundraising ideas
  • Set goals for your state
  • Share chapter and volunteer success
  • State chapter award presentations- set criteria and present awards for specific categories
  • Build relationships and network with fellow chapters and volunteers
Rendezvous

A state rendezvous is a great opportunity to gather volunteers for a fun and productive weekend. It may be best described as an RMEF camping weekend with some fun, food, meetings and built-in celebrations. These can be planned as free for attendees, or if necessary, for a small registration fee. The locations for a rendezvous can also vary greatly. At times, some are held on public land at an undeveloped site. At other times, a more established facility like a rural fairground or buildings can be rented or used. A sample agenda for a rendezvous is below:

Friday Evening: Attendee arrival

  • Welcome BBQ dinner
  • Cornhole tournament

Saturday

  • Work project
  • Volunteer roundtable meeting
  • Presentations by volunteers and staff
  • Mission updates
  • Presentations from state or local agency contacts

Saturday Night Fun Night:

  • Raffles and silent auction (to help cover rendezvous cost)
  • Potluck or dessert competition
  • Special presentations

A rendezvous is a great opportunity to gather volunteers for a fun weekend together. The relationships built and things that are learned can be beneficial for all who attend. 

 

Work Projects

RMEF work projects are a great opportunity to get volunteers in the field and give them a chance to make a direct, mission-related impact. Work projects may take place in elk country but do have to be limited to those locations. There are projects that can be conducted in non-elk states and areas that benefit other wildlife. Not only do work projects bring volunteers together, but they are also an opportunity to bring in new volunteers.

Some examples of work projects are:

  • Fence removal
  • Trailhead maintenance or cleanup
  • Wildlife management area maintenance
  • Tree planting
  • Conifer encroachment removal
  • Removing abandoned junk or old buildings
  • Noxious weed removal
  • Wildlife-friendly fence building
  • Building water developments for wildlife
  • Public land gun range cleanup

RMEF has tools and processes available through EMS to help promote and recruit volunteers to those work projects. By doing this, work projects will also be listed on rmef.org/volunteer.

Conclusion:

Statewide volunteer gatherings offer an opportunity to bring volunteers together. Anytime we can strengthen relationships among chapters and volunteers within the state, doing so will help educate, inspire and energize staff and volunteers to do more for the mission.

 

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Hosting Secondary Fundraising Events

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/hosting-secondary-fundraising-events/

The more funds generated by your chapter, the more there is to spend on the mission in your state! Many chapters are currently hosting secondary fundraising events, which are as simple or complicated as they choose to make them. When considering which type of event to host, you must consider which best fits your chapter, committee and potential attendees. You must choose an event that your committee and attendees will be excited to host and attend.

Gun Fest/Gun Bash Events

These events are based around a higher cost raffle and typically have 1-in-5 odds of winning, with a $200-250 ticket cost. A minimum number of tickets must be sold, with an appropriate ratio of prizes given out. If more than the minimum number of tickets are sold, more firearms can be added. For example, 100 tickets can be sold for $250 each and 20 prizes/firearms purchased at an average cost of $500 per item. If possible, these tickets should be sold prior to your event. If sold out, the raffle will gross $25,000 and net $15,000. When the raffle is conducted, the lowest valued item is drawn first and the person whose name is drawn can either:

  1. Take the item and their ticket is removed from the bucket.
  2. Take the item, buy back into the raffle for $250 and their ticket remains in the bucket.
  3. Or don’t take the item and their ticket remains in the bucket and another winner is drawn for the prize.

In addition to this raffle, secondary raffles are also held. For some events, a small silent auction can also be conducted as well as other popular banquet activities. These events are typically held on a weeknight with only a handful of volunteers needed to help run them. Appetizers are often provided for those who buy tickets. Additional food and beverages are available for purchase. The event does not require a long night out and is often completed within a two-hour time frame. It is simple for a committee because its planning and execution does not require much detail. However, there is a need for both a chair and ticket chair to help with planning and pre-event ticket sales. These events often net $15,000 to $30,000, depending on the number of tickets sold and the number of added fundraising opportunities that accompany the primary raffle.

Ladies Night Out Events

These events include a lot of the same features as a normal banquet but are for only female attendees. Most ladies night out events include live and silent auctions, games, raffles and dinner. Everything is catered to women attendees, including selected merchandise and firearms, as well as how some of the games and raffles are presented. There is often a theme that accompanies all activities and attendees are encouraged to dress with that in mind. Some examples of themes are the Roaring Twenties, masquerade ball, black dress, luau, ladies of the 80s, and boots and bling. Men are not allowed to take part as attendees but may volunteer to help with raffles, games or auctions. The goal for a ladies night out event is a minimum of 100 attendees. Some of these gatherings host as many as 500 attendees. These events should generate at least $15,000 net but have potential to raise more than $75,000 with a big enough crowd. When looking for donors, seek out those who will benefit from a female-only audience.       

Donor & Event Sponsor Appreciation Events

A donor appreciation event is a great way to invite your chapter’s best supporters and thank them for their generosity. It also allows you to supply more information about RMEF’s mission and how their support makes a positive impact. Life members, sponsors, donors and auction buyers may be invited to participate. Often, a low-cost meal or appetizers are provided as a thank you and there is no charge for attendance. These events often include a fundraising aspect but should be much different from a banquet. Fundraising should be presented as an opportunity, not as an expectation. A few raffles and small silent and live auctions (around 10 items) may be appropriate.

Conclusion

If you are interested in adding a ladies night out or other secondary event for your chapter, contact your regional director.

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2024 RMEF Volunteer Summit Review

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/2024-rmef-volunteer-summit-review/

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation volunteers and staff met in Missoula, Montana, in early May 2024 for the second-ever RMEF Volunteer Summit. It took place just before the celebration of RMEF’s 40-year anniversary with various volunteers and staff from across the country attending. The summit allowed volunteers and staff the opportunity to share ideas and explore solutions for the most common challenges faced by volunteers and chapters.

The structure of these meetings utilized a focus group format, with about 15 people in each group, made up of chapter volunteers, state chairs, regional directors and field operations leadership. A group facilitator led the discussions and a recorder documented them. Topics included volunteer recruitment, chapter growth, increasing event attendance, chapter leadership and how to make more of an impact for RMEF’s mission.

“The Volunteer Summit helps those in attendance to network and learn from one another,” said Jared Wold, RMEF volunteer program director. “The challenges for one chapter may not be the same for another and this meeting platform allows our volunteers and field staff to work together, brainstorm ideas and create solutions to move the mission forward.”

The volunteer summit will continue in future years but is limited and by invitation only.

The topics discussed and notes recorded will be featured as upcoming RMEF Volunteer Newsletter articles. Volunteer summit topics are also available within the RMEF Event Management System (EMS) (accessible to chapter leadership), under the “Resources” tab in the “Volunteer Resource Articles” folder.

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2023 Chapter Awards & Recognition

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/2023-chapter-awards-recognition/

Below is a rundown of recognition doled out at Volunteer Fun Night on May 3, in Missoula, Montana, during RMEF’s 40th anniversary weekend.

TOP PERFORMING SPECIAL EVENT

Chapters in this category received recognition for having the highest single non-banquet fundraising event net income. Examples include, but are not limited to, Ladies Night Out events, Gun Bash/Gun Fest Events and golf tournaments. Online raffles, online auctions or any other fundraising efforts that do not include an in-person event, do not qualify for this category.

1st      Smith Valley, NV          $58,769                         

2nd     Boise, ID                        $54,487

3rd     Saginaw, MI                  $52,560

TOP GROSSING CHAPTER IN EVENT SPONSORSHIP SALES

Chapters in this category received recognition for having the highest gross revenue in event sponsorship sales within the given year.

1st          Cheyenne, WY             $44,000

2nd        Tucson, AZ                   $42,000

3rd        Missoula, MT               $29,500

 

(Above Photo: Nevada Volunteers accepting the 2023 Top New Banquet Net for the Winnemucca, NV Chapter)

TOP NEW BANQUET NET

Only chapters that held banquets that had never been held in their given area, or were last held prior to 2020, were eligible for this category. In addition, these banquets had to meet a minimum of $20,000 in net revenue.

1st          Winnemucca, NV       $35,415

2nd         Ely, NV                        $30,069

3rd         Ellensburg, WA         $28,825

 

(Above Photo: Arizona Volunteer accepting the 2023 1st place Chapter Activity Net for the Tucson, AZ Chapter)

REGIONAL BANQUET OF THE YEAR

This designation was determined by comparing each chapter’s banquet net revenue to other banquets within the same RMEF geographical region. Recognition was based on the three highest netting banquets in each region.

East Region

1st          Asheville, NC                 $111,816                                                         

2nd         Bemidji, MN                  $82,882

3rd          Evansville, IN                $74,713                                                                                                             

Northwest Region

1st          Billings, MT                      $212,309

2nd         Bend, OR                         $169,406

3rd          Kalispell, MT                   $160,843

Southwest Region

1st          Tucson, AZ                      $411,707

2nd         Grand Junction, CO   $244,874

3rd          Bailey, CO                      $128,340


TOP REGIONAL FUNDRAISING STATE

This category recognized the three states with the highest net revenue generated through fundraising efforts within each RMEF region for the given year.

East Region

1st          Pennsylvania                 $816,753

2nd         Wisconsin                      $702,118

3rd          Michigan                        $604,286

Northwest Region

1st          Montana                           $2,123,435

2nd         Washington                    $1,705,035

3rd          Idaho                                $1,397,409

Southwest Region

1st          Colorado                          $1,836,958

2nd         California                        $1,126,193      

3rd          Utah                                 $1,000,000


$100K CLUB

Chapters that reached $100k Club status raised at least $100,000 in net revenue through all chapter based fundraising efforts within the given year.

Royal Chapters:                             $100k-$150k                                                        

Imperial Chapters:                        $150k-$200k                                                        

Monarch Chapters:                       $200k-$250k                                                        

Legendary Chapters:                   $250k+

 

(Above Photo: Colorado Volunteers accepting the 2023 2nd place Chapter Activity Net for the Grand Junction, CO Chapter)

Legendary Chapters:  $250,000+

Tucson, AZ                                     $411,772

Grand Junction, CO                     $351,614

 

(Above Photo: Montana Volunteer accepting the 2023 Regional Banquet of the Year – Northwest Region for the Beartooth Chapter Banquet in Billings, MT)

Monarch Chapters:  $200,000-$250,000 

Billings, MT                                         $227,277

Kalispell, MT                                       $211,371

Missoula, MT                                      $203,385


Imperial Chapters: 
$150,000-200,000

Boise, ID                                              $196,648

Lander, WY                                         $176,806

Bailey, CO                                           $176,597

Hamilton, MT                                     $176,069

Helena, MT                                         $175,068

Bend, OR                                            $167,128

Bozeman, MT                                    $162,667

Phoenix, AZ                                       $153,808

Coeur d’Alene, ID                             $153,658

Longview/Kelso, WA                       $151,823

 

(Above Photo: North Carolina Volunteer accepting the 2023 Regional Banquet of the Year – Eastern Region for the Great Smoky Mountains Chapter Banquet in Asheville, NC)

Royal Chapters:  $100,000-$150,000                                                       

Butte, MT                                             $148,727

Lewiston, ID                                        $148,630

Riverton, WY                                      $144,555

Tri Cities, WA                                      $143,368

Williston, ND                                       $140,508

Mountain Home, ID                           $140,287

Lead/Deadwood, SD                         $138,026

Chehalis, WA                                       $135,078

Roseburg, OR                                     $129,469

Great Falls, MT                                   $128,584

Moscow, ID                                          $125,996

Prescott, AZ                                        $124,934

Eagle/Vail, CO                                    $121,639

Vancouver, WA                                   $119,944

Mount Vernon, WA                             $117,333

Tillamook, OR                                     $116,567

Elko, NV                                               $116,465

Thermopolis, WY                               $115,455

Portland, OR                                       $114,912

Canon City, CO                                   $113,714

Watford City, ND                                $111,828

Provo, UT                                             $111,815

Montrose, CO                                      $111,662

Asheville, NC                                      $111,221

Omaha, NE                                          $109,855

Saginaw, MI                                         $105,024

Everett, WA                                         $103,539

Omak, WA                                            $102,009

Traverse City, MI                                $101,418

Durango, CO                                        $100,930

Redding, CA                                         $100,720           

The post 2023 Chapter Awards & Recognition appeared first on Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Wyoming Gray Wolf Report Highlights Decrease in Conflicts, Increase in Population

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/wyoming-gray-wolf-report-highlights-decrease-in-conflicts-increase-in-population/

Below is a news release from the Wyoming Game & Fish Department.

Wyoming’s gray wolf population continues to achieve all management goals, according to the 2023 Wyoming Gray Wolf Monitoring and Management annual report by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and partnering agencies.

Wyoming is maintaining wolf numbers at healthy levels, and 2023 marked the 22nd consecutive year wolf numbers in Wyoming have exceeded the criteria outlined for recovery of the species. The newly-published document details an increase in the gray wolf population and a noted decrease in livestock depredation — with the lowest number of verified livestock conflicts since 2010.

“The department’s robust monitoring program and data set provides insight into population dynamics and tells the story of wolf conservation and management,” said Game and Fish Director Brian Nesvik. “Wyoming has a proven track record of successfully managing our gray wolf population, and we will continue that approach into the future.”

The Wyoming Gray Wolf Management Plan outlines established population objectives for wolves.

As of Dec. 31, 2023, at least 192 wolves and 17 breeding pairs reside within the wolf trophy game management area. When combined with other jurisdictions within Wyoming, the state has at least 352 wolves and 43 packs, with at least 24 breeding pairs. The documented increase in wolves is attributed to increased recruitment of young wolves entering the population and lower mortality than noted in previous monitoring years.

“Game and Fish is committed to continuing its wolf monitoring efforts and data collection to evaluate wolf population status and recommend appropriate wolf management actions,” Nesvik said.

(Photo credit: Wyoming Game & Fish Department)

The post Wyoming Gray Wolf Report Highlights Decrease in Conflicts, Increase in Population appeared first on Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Study: Human Resistance to CWD is Strong

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/study-human-resistance-to-cwd-is-strong/

A new study shows the human body stands up to chronic wasting disease when its neural tissue is exposed to prions, abnormal proteins that infect brain tissue eventually leading to death for deer, elk and moose.

The research offers some confidence for hunters despite April 2024 reports that claimed two hunters died from CWD after eating infected deer meat. At the time, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation announced it stood by other wildlife experts that discounted those media accounts. The media outlets took the story from an abstract posted by a research journal, not an actual documented situation. One of the abstract authors confirmed there are no proven CWD transmissions to date.

California is the latest state to confirm CWD within its borders. In total, 34 states and five Canadian provinces confirmed the presence of CWD. State wildlife agencies have rules in place to try to manage its spread such as not allowing the movement of animals or animal parts from infected to uninfected areas.

RMEF is a founding member and sponsor of the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance. Along with other partners, RMEF more recently created the CWD Applied Research Program in 2019, which brings together top CWD researchers and managers to identify the highest priority research that will impact CWD management.

Since 1995, RMEF supplied more than $800,000, including $200,000 in 2023, to state agencies and other partners for CWD surveillance, management, research and outreach.

(Photo credit: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation)

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