MISSOULA, Mont.—Walker S. Buddy Smith, Jr. and wife Tammie Lynne Smith of Great Falls, Mont., have received the highest honor given by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.The Wallace Fennell Pate Wildlife Conservation Award honors contributions of lasting significance to the benefit of elk, other wildlife and their habitat across North America. The award was presented to the Smiths during 26th annual RMEF convention, which concluded March 7 in Reno, Nev.The Smiths have been avid RMEF supporters since the organization was founded in 1984. In fact, Buddy Smith is member No. 104. In 1988, he founded the first chapter in his home state of Virginia. From there he went on to become state chair, regional chair and ultimately served seven years on the board of directors, including two as its chairman. In 2007, Smith also served on staff as interim president. Tammie Lynne Smith has been an RMEF member for 24 years and Life Member for 10 years. She is active on the organizations Habitat Council. She has helped restore RMEF chapters, taught seminars at Elk Camp and remains a sparkplug in RMEF fundraisers.It was a passion for hunting and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation that brought Buddy and Tammie Lynne together. After her first husband died, she stayed active in RMEF and later on, these two began courting at, you guessed it, Elk Camp. Were glad we could help, said Joe Treadway, RMEF chairman of the board.Wallace Fennell Pate, the Elk Foundations first president and chairman of the board, dedicated his time, energy and financial resources to the betterment of wildlife in North America. Pate, now deceased, became a national role model for groups or individuals concerned with natural resources conservation.About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:Snowy peaks, dark timber basins and grassy meadows. RMEF is leading an elk country initiative that has conserved or enhanced habitat on over 5.7 million acres—a land area equivalent to a swath three miles wide and stretching along the entire Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico. RMEF also works to open, secure and improve public access for hunting, fishing and other recreation.