The statistics were released by RMEF to commemorate National Volunteer Appreciation Week, April 18-24, 2010. President Nixon designated the special week in 1974 to celebrate America’s spirit of volunteerism for good causes. Since then, U.S. Presidents annually issue a formal proclamation to help keep volunteerism going strong.
“Our organization depends on volunteers who are passionate about conserving elk country, and we do our best to deliver efficient, measurable, on-the-ground results. I’m proud of our numbers over the past year,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO.
Nationwide, RMEF boasts more than 10,000 volunteers who conservatively average 80 hours of donated labor annually. Tasks include coordinating banquets and other fundraising events, assisting wildlife and land managers by building wildlife watering devices, conducting elk research, removing unneeded fencing and countless other jobs.
In 2009, these 800,000 hours of donated labor translated to just over 132,000 acres of habitat conserved or enhanced for elk and other wildlife.
Allen said, “Along with our staff, partners and supporters, RMEF volunteers are part of a movement that is making a real difference. Together we’re impacting more than just habitat for elk and other wildlife. We’re also ensuring a future for the experiences and lifestyles and values that are borne of elk hunting. Thank you, RMEF volunteers!”
Since launching in 1984, RMEF has tallied 5.7 million acres of mostly public-land habitat enhanced or conserved, and 585,000 acres opened or secured for public hunting.
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.