“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,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO.
The $1 billion total was determined by the dollar amount contributed by RMEF plus those 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. That lifetime total of those 9,738 projects has so far protected or enhanced 6,714,810 acres of vital elk habitat.
Ironically, one billion seconds equal 31.6888 years. Given that RMEF was founded in May of 1984, or more than 31 years ago, that means RMEF accumulates roughly $1 of value per every second of its existence.
RMEF was founded in 1984 by four elk hunters in northwest Montana who combined their time, talents and resources to form a conservation organization dedicated to elk, elk hunting and the habitat they needed to thrive. Since then, North America’s elk population more than doubled in size.
RMEF partners include 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.
“This is a tremendous milestone, and we congratulate RMEF on this accomplishment,” said Leanne Marten, USFS regional forester. “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," said Neil Kornze, BLM director. "Their 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."
RMEF has also received tremendous dedication from its corporate partners, members and volunteers whose support has been and remains vital to the mission. As of December 31, 2014, RMEF has more than 205,000 members –including 11,000 volunteers– in 507 chapters across the United States.
“We are extremely grateful for our passionate volunteers and members. While we recognize and celebrate this accomplishment, we will not take our foot off the gas pedal. We are excited to keep moving forward toward the next one billion dollars’ worth of conservation work,” added Allen.