MISSOULA, Mont.– Field & Stream has selected the Rawlins, Wyo., chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation as its Conservation Chapter of the Year, an honor given as part of the magazine’s prestigious Heroes of Conservation Awards for 2008.
Along with other awardees, the Rawlins chapter will be celebrated at the third annual Heroes of Conservation Awards Gala in New York City, Sept. 25. The chapter will receive an award plus $1,000 from sponsor Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Additionally, the chapter’s successes will be featured in the October issue of the magazine as well as in Field & Stream’s online TV show (www.FieldandStream.com/heroes).
“The Rawlins chapter is more than a fundraising chapter—its members are out there on the ground getting their hands dirty. Our editors loved that,” said Brian McClintock of Field & Stream.
Along with fundraising via banquets and events, the Rawlins chapter works on multiple conservation projects across southwest Wyoming, especially Green Mountain, Little Snake River Conservation District and Red Desert. Projects include installing water guzzlers for elk and other wildlife, fencing around springs to conserve riparian zones, fencing around aspen regeneration projects to enhance habitat, thinning conifer on aspen regeneration projects, and removing old barbwire fencing.
The chapter works in coordination with agencies including Bureau of Land Management, Wyoming Game and Fish, Little Snake River Conservation District, and U.S. Forest Service. One project was coordinated with EnCana Oil and Gas USA.
Todd Canaday of Rawlins volunteers as chapter chair. Committee members include oilfield workers, wildlife biologists, schoolteachers, carpenters—men and women drawn together through their passion for wildlife and conserving habitat.
The Elk Foundation’s volunteer state chair for Wyoming is Mike Cuin of Rawlins.
“The Rawlins chapter is a great illustration of volunteers in action. They not only host a very successful banquet, they do other fundraisers such as the Big Buck, Big Bull antler contest and a poker run. Their efforts made them the No. 1 fundraising chapter in Wyoming for net revenue in 2007 and earned them second-place RMEF honors nationally for net percentage. They truly are heroes in conservation,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO.
The Heroes of Conservation Awards Gala, to be held at the American Museum of Natural History, will feature special guests such as U.S. Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne and Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service H. Dale Hall.
For more info including other honorees, visit www.FieldandStream.com/heroes .
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.