MISSOULA, Mont.-A new award honoring the tenacious, collaborative spirit of America’s greatest conservationist, Theodore Roosevelt, was presented this week by the conservation and hunting organization that Roosevelt himself founded 121 years ago.

The Boone and Crockett Club has presented its first Theodore Roosevelt Legacy Award to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Given during a luncheon ceremony at SHOT Show, which concluded Feb. 5 in Las Vegas, the award recognizes the Elk Foundation’s collaborative role in acquiring and protecting Roosevelt’s historic Elkhorn Ranch in Medora, N.D.

The ranch is where Roosevelt developed his staunch conservation ethic and vision. Rugged and scenic, the land was purchased from willing sellers, the Eberts family, and transferred to the U.S. Forest Service in 2007. It was a landmark success following a two-year campaign led by Boone and Crockett Club with critical partnership from the Elk Foundation.

“Roosevelt understood the power of influential partners unified by strong leadership. He was a master at selecting the right people in the right places at the right time to do the right thing. These principles remain a cornerstone of the Boone and Crockett Club. Our Theodore Roosevelt Legacy Award is a special honor for a partner who best exemplifies this spirit,” said Lowell E. Baier, president of the Boone and Crockett Club.

In the Elkhorn Ranch project, the Elk Foundation brought essential expertise in legal, promotional and fundraising arenas, Baier said.

Andy Hoxsey, chairman of the board for the Elk Foundation, accepted the award.

“Cooperative partnerships are definitely the future of conservation. The Boone and Crockett Club has spent many decades developing key partners across state and federal governments, resource agencies, businesses and organizations. To be selected from their long list of partners is truly an honor for the Elk Foundation,” said Hoxsey.

David Allen, Elk Foundation president and CEO, added, “Any conservation organization would be honored and gratified to be mentioned alongside Theodore Roosevelt. There’s not a more authoritative acknowledgement that, together, our volunteers, members, donors and staff are an important resource for conservation today.”

About the Boone and Crockett Club

Founded by Theodore Roosevelt in 1887, the Boone and Crockett Club promotes guardianship and provident management of big game and associated wildlife in North America. It maintains the highest standards of fair chase and sportsmanship in all aspects of big game hunting so that these resources of the people may survive and prosper in natural habitats. Club member accomplishments include the protection of Yellowstone and creation of Glacier and Denali national parks, founding the National Forest Service, National Park Service and National Wildlife Refuge System, passing the Pittman-Robertson and Lacey Acts, establishing the Federal Duck Stamp Program, and developing original codes of conduct which later became the cornerstone of modern game laws. Boone and Crockett Club is headquartered in Missoula, Mont. To learn more, visit www.boone-crockett.org

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

Founded in 1984 and headquartered in Missoula, Mont., the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat. The Elk Foundation and its partners have permanently protected or enhanced over 5.2 million acres, a land area larger than Connecticut, Delaware and District of Columbia combined. More than 500,000 acres previously closed to public access are now open for hunting, fishing and other recreation. The Elk Foundation has more than 150,000 members, a staff of 150 and 10,000 active volunteers. To help protect wild elk country or learn more about the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, visit www.elkfoundation.org or call 800-CALL-ELK.