Written By Scott Hampel
KEMMERER, Wyo. – On April 26, 2008, the Kemmerer Chapter of the Mule Deer Foundation hosted its inaugural event at the Fraternal Order of Eagles building in Kemmerer, Wyo. There were 160 people in attendance to witness this impressive event that included a steak dinner along with a variety of games, raffles, and silent and live auctions.
When the night was completed, the chapter had obtained 87 memberships and raised over $41,000 in net proceeds with an efficiency rating exceeding 70 percent. In the world of conservation, these are phenomenal statistics for a first-time event.
The success of this chapter can be attributed to the enthusiastic and committed group of volunteers who are dedicated to seeing conservation projects be completed for mule deer. As a result of these volunteers’ efforts, a minimum of $16,000 will be allocated to mule deer projects locally. In fact, the committee was able to secure large donations from a number of companies and individuals, including Encana Oil and Gas, Williams, Lightning Construction, Kern River, Chevron Mining, Cumberland Gap Hearthstone, Sims Industrial Services/McKenzie Enterprises, the Town of Diamonville and others. These funds have been placed in the Wyoming Project Fund as MDF Conservation Partners. The Conservation Partnership funds are being combined with other funds, raised in Rock Springs and Lander earlier this year, to help fund the Wyoming Range Mule Deer Habitat Assessment. This is a high priority project identified by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department for the long-term planning and management of habitat restoration/improvements impacting mule deer herds in the Wyoming Range.
A special “thank you” should be given to this local group of volunteers which includes: Shawn Whitmore, Christa Whitmore, Brett Dovey, Mandie Dovey, Shauna Ridgeway, Shawn Ridgeway, Dave Brewer, Vince Hinshaw, Tommie Hinshaw, Dan Christensen, Robyn Christensen, Nate Eisenbarth, Courtney Eisenbarth, Perry Fagnant, Paula Fagnant, Ed Vining, Tina Vining, Fred Baldwin, Perry Baldwin, Pauline Schuette and Jim Olson. In addition, a variety of local businesses and individuals (list too long to include here) donated cash, merchandise or services to this fundraising event. The communities of Kemmerer and Diamondville should be proud of these accomplishments.
The Mule Deer Foundation is a national non-profit 501(c)3 conservation organization whose mission is “to ensure the conservation of mule deer, black-tailed deer and their habitats.” MDF partners with U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, local agencies and other conservation groups to complete conservation projects which benefit mule deer and other wildlife. MDF is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah and has volunteer chapters, primarily throughout the western U.S. Chapters in Wyoming are located in Kemmerer, Rock Springs, Lander/Riverton, Laramie, Casper, Sheridan and Gillette. If you would like more information or would like to help, please contact Christa Whitmore at 307-877-2292. You may also reach MDF Regional Director Scott Hampel at 303-659-2088 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.muledeer.org .