MISSOULA, Mont.- The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has promoted Don Blakley of Cobden, Ill., to a new position as director of eastern field operations. Blakley will oversee all fundraising, volunteer activities and conservation projects in the organization’s eastern division.
Since its founding in 1984, the Elk Foundation has become a conservation force in the eastern U.S., raising millions for elk habitat initiatives, restoring elk populations in several states, and funding education and hunting heritage initiatives.
“RMEF has tremendous opportunities to do important habitat protection, stewardship and conservation education work east of the Mississippi River. With a new Elk Country Visitor Center being built in Pennsylvania, a rapidly growing restored elk herd in Kentucky and a state grants program funding conservation and education projects across the East, it’s a really exciting time,” said Blakley. “I am honored to be chosen to lead our volunteers, partners and staff to even greater successes in the coming years.”
Blakley volunteered for the Elk Foundation prior to joining the staff in 1996. He began his tenure as a field director for Illinois and Indiana. Over the past 12 years, he has advanced to positions with increasing responsibilities.
A central Illinois native, Blakley holds a B.S. degree from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Prior to joining the Elk Foundation, he worked eight years for Illinois Department of Natural Resources. A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Blakley remains active in other conservation groups as volunteer and member. He is an avid hunter, fisherman and outdoorsman. He and his wife, Patty, have two children.
About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Snowy peaks, dark timber basins and grassy meadows. RMEF is leading an elk country initiative that has already conserved or enhanced habitat on over 5.4 million acres—a land area equivalent to a swath three miles wide and stretching along the entire Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico. Most work occurs on public lands. More than 561,000 acres have been opened or secured for public access including hunting, fishing and other recreation. Get involved at www.rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.