The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s (RMEF) decision to nominate television hunting host Randy Newberg for board member has met with some opposition. According to the Billings Gazette, the RMEF and other associated associations received a concerned email from the Montana Outfitters and Guides Association (MOGA) on Wednesday.
The MOGA expressed in the email that Newberg is “affiliated with and often represents one or more organizations that some perceive to be anti-outfitting/landowner, often present the western outfitting industry in a negative light.” The email implied that the MOGA may withdraw donations from the RMEF if Newberg is seated.
Newberg is the star of On Your Own Adventures, a do-it-yourself hunting show that explores hunting with a budget in mind. Newberg himself is an active member of the RMEF and works as a CPA to promote the interests of outdoorsmen in state bills. He calls the stance held by MOGA “extortion.”
“Seems MOGA is trying to split the hunting community and forcing RMEF to choose between guided hunters and non-guided hunters,” Newberg wrote in a blog post.
The RMEF sent out a press release today that listed Newberg as one of six board members seated, even though Newberg had previously stated that he would turn down the position if the RMEF was threatened.
“The goal, mission, and work of RMEF is far more important than my board position,” he said.
In the meantime, he seems to be appreciative of his new position and is looking forward to working to further conservation and maintaining a future for elk and elk hunters.
The RMEF’s released an official statement on the issue on February 19, the text of which is shown below:
TO ALL CONCERNED:
RMEF is an organization comprised of hunters and non-hunters who all have a deep passion for wildlife conservation. Recently an issue has arisen regarding the election one of our new Board members. The following will state our position on this issue.
RMEF is a diverse enough organization to allow for opinions/beliefs of all hunters and those non-hunters who support hunting as part of our conservation toolbox in this country. We support and work with private landowners, outfitters and do-it-yourself hunters alike; RMEF’s history speaks for itself on this issue. We intend to continue with these relationships.
Relative to the recent issue of Randy Newberg being selected for a RMEF Board seat, the leadership of the RMEF Board has notified Mr. Newberg that we welcome him to the Board beginning March 3.
RMEF strongly believes that hunter vs. hunter confrontation is non-productive for the future of hunting and wildlife conservation.
John Caid, Chairman RMEF Board
David Allen, RMEF Board President & CEO
Image courtesy Sportsman Channel