How many million in a billion? A bunch, that’s how many. And today, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is doubly proud of its achievements in exceeding “$1 billion in the cumulative value of its on-the-ground conservation efforts”—efforts driven by the passion and loyalty of RMEF members.
David Allen, RMEF President & CEO, was quick to point out that, “This is an incredible milestone and testament to many people over a lot of years who are dedicated to ensuring the future of elk, elk habitat, and conservation.”
Exceeding the $1 billion mark was the result of funds provided by RMEF as well as “partner dollars leveraged by RMEF for its land protection and access, habitat enhancement, wildlife management—including elk restorations, research, and hunting heritage—and conservation outreach projects.” Over the period of RMEF’s existence, “9,738 projects have so far protected or enhanced 6,714,810 acres of vital elk habitat.”
To put this accomplishment in perspective, “One billion seconds equal 31.6888 years. Given that RMEF was founded in May 1984, or more than 31 years ago, that means RMEF accumulates roughly $1 of value per every second of its existence.”
The list of RMEF partners is long and noteworthy, including the “U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), state wildlife agencies, universities, private landowners, and many other governmental, tribal, civic, wildlife, and sportsmen groups.”
As stated by Leanne Marten, Regional Forester for the USFS, “This is a tremendous milestone, and we congratulate RMEF on this accomplishment. We deeply appreciate our partnership with RMEF and the work we have been able to do together with their organization and volunteers to improve the health and resilience of our National Forest System lands for the public’s use and enjoyment.”
“We applaud the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s dedication to wildlife and habitat conservation,” added Neil Kornze, BLM director. “RMEF’s work has helped ensure that we have healthy habitats for many species of wildlife while supporting our country’s hunting heritage. I congratulate them on reaching this extraordinary milestone.”
What does it take to make something on this scale happen? Dedication, and lots of it. RMEF currently “has more than 205,000 members—including 11,000 volunteers—in 507 chapters across the United States.”