The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation affirmed its commitment to the overall benefits of hunting, especially land conservation and wildlife management, by adding to its mission statement. It now reads: “To ensure the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.”
“This is a logical step for us,” said David Allen, RMEF CEO and president. “Hunting is conservation. Not only does hunting provide a way for families to fill the freezer, but it gives us a deep-seeded connection to and much-needed funding for land and wildlife. This new addition to our mission statement merely formalizes a priority RMEF already supported and dedicated itself to for years.”
Hunters remain the central driving force in providing the necessary funding to successfully manage wildlife across the United States. The Pittman-Robertson Act, which created a special tax on firearms, ammunition, bows and arrows, generated more than $2 billion for wildlife conservation since its inception 75 years ago. The combination of those taxes, along with hunting license and permit sales, the sale of state and federal waterfowl stamps, and money generated by groups like RMEF, contribute more than $4.5 million to conservation and science based wildlife management every day. Hunting also directly accounts for more than one million jobs in America and creates an overall economy of $67 billion annually.
Thanks to hunter-generated dollars, RMEF accelerated the pace of its mission accomplishment the past two and a half decades. To date, RMEF protected or enhanced more than 6.1 million acres of wildlife habitat.
RMEF has a proven track record of promoting hunting heritage by investing more than $3.5 million in nearly 2,000 projects in 49 states. Successful examples include the SAFE Challenge youth shooting sports program, youth hunter education clinics, conservation camps, youth hunts and outdoors mentor programs. That funding leveraged an additional $23.6 million in contributions from RMEF partners to assist 4H shooting sports, the National Archery in Schools program, Becoming an Outdoors Woman workshops, and dozens of other quality programs and sponsorships.
“I still believe that the single most effective hunter recruitment tool ever invented is simply spending time in the field with somebody, one-on-one. If it happens to be a youngster, that’s even better,” said Allen. “As hunters, we should all take great pride in our legacy and more responsibility to ensure our hunting heritage is sustained for future generations.”
Logo courtesy of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation