The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation recently passed 8 million acres of conservation work across North America over its 36-year history. In Pennsylvania, the organization’s 489 projects have enhanced habitat on 17,334 acres, 9,803 acres protected, and 10,189 acres opened to or given improved public access. With partner contributions, RMEF projects in Pennsylvania are valued at $26,228,879. In addition to habitat protection and enhancement, and public access, the projects have included wildlife management, research, hunting heritage and conservation outreach.
“This is a noteworthy landmark and one worth celebrating, yet what we’re really talking about is significant, measurable, on the ground conservation accomplishment that permanently protects or enhances wildlife habitat across elk country and benefits a majestic and iconic species,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “The trickle-down effects also positively impact countless game and non-game species alike, improve public access and benefit our hunting tradition.” In the coronavirus-challenged year of 2020, RMEF closed 21 land protection projects in 10 different states and collaborated with partners to dole out millions of dollars in grants for forest thinning, prescribed burns, invasive weed treatments, the establishment of wildlife water sources and other habitat enhancement and hunting heritage projects as well as elk-related scientific research. Fueled by hunters and a membership of nearly 235,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 8 million acres for elk and other wildlife. RMEF also works to open and improve public access, fund and advocate for science-based resource management, and ensure the future of America’s hunting heritage. [full article]