RENO, Nev.-Ten years after his death at the Daytona 500, Dale Earnhardt’s enduring legacy as a competitor and outdoorsman has sparked a new partnership between the Dale Earnhardt Foundation and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
The new venture has been christened the Dale Earnhardt Land/Wildlife Legacy.
Announcing the news March 4 at the RMEF annual convention in Reno, Nev., RMEF President and CEO David Allen said the partnership is good for wildlife and hunters.
“There are lots of NASCAR fans in the RMEF membership, and lots of conservationists among race fans. Teaming up allows us to redouble our efforts on projects that honor Dale’s memory-things like wildlife habitat improvement, land conservation, hunting access improvements and more,” said Allen.
Allen added the partnership will help RMEF gain visibility at NASCAR races and events.
Earnhardt’s son, Kerry, was in Reno for the announcement and to represent the Earnhardt family and others involved in the Dale Earnhardt Foundation. The nonprofit group based in North Carolina funds charitable programs and causes that sustain Dale Earnhardt’s lifelong commitment to children, education and wildlife conservation.
Teresa Earnhardt, Dale’s wife, said, “As a lifelong outdoorsman, Dale was committed to wildlife and land conservation, a passion which he shared with his friends and family. Now that legacy lives on through his foundation and we are honored to have a partner in RMEF. Our shared mission to conserve and restore native game and their habitat will ensure the same opportunities for future generations and ‘Continue the Legend.'”
Allen was a personal friend of Earnhardt. In fact, he directed marketing and sponsorships for the Dale Earnhardt/Richard Childress race teams and other NASCAR teams until Earnhardt’s fatal crash in 2001. He remains close to the family.
“When Dale wasn’t thinking about racing, he was thinking about hunting and sharing his passion for the outdoors with others,” said Allen. “It was an honor to know him and now it’s an honor to be working closely again with Teresa to help keep that legacy growing. Dale is the working man’s hero and RMEF is the working man’s conservation group, so this is a great fit. Dale would be very proud today.”
Childress said, “Dale was ‘The Intimidator’ for his fearlessness and competitiveness on the track, but the peacefulness of the outdoors also was a big part of who he was. I believe his quiet-time hunting and fishing helped recharge him for racing, and I know he’s smiling down now at being able to help other people enjoy the outdoors like he did.”
Realtree founder and president Bill Jordan, who also was a friend of Earnhardt, said, “I was fortunate to hunt with Dale and to know him both as an outdoorsman as well as a legendary driver. I’m so pleased to see RMEF teaming up to help honor his memory through conservation, because that’s so meaningful to both race fans and hunters.”
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. Get involved at www.rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.