ALASKA—U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski was the guest of honor at the Wasilla Chapter’s 7th annual big game banquet on January 30, 2010. After speaking about the importance of conservation, Murkowski and a handful of her staff members and their spouses visited with volunteers and enjoyed dinner. Chapter chair Amber Eckard presented Murkowski with a banquet knife and RMEF hat, gifts for her husband and son, respectively. The event was the chapter’s most successful so far, with a sold-out crowd of 169, a 65 percent net-to-gross, and several new members, including Murkowski and two staff from her Anchorage office.
ARIZONA—Mesa was the place to be for everything elk on August 8, 2009, when the Red Mountain Chapter hosted an elk hunting seminar and membership drive to educate youth and adults alike about elk hunting tactics and techniques including calling, shot placement, meat care, taxidermy and state requirements. Volunteers also highlighted RMEF mission accomplishments and opportunities. Adults 17 and older paid $10, while kids under 17 were free. Sixty-nine youth and 142 adults from the Phoenix metro area attended. Every youth received a hat and raffle ticket for a .22 rifle. The event brought in 43 memberships.
OREGON—Volunteers from RMEF’s Willamette Valley Chapter joined forces with Oregon Master Hunter volunteers and Forest Service employees in March 2010 to plant Oregon white oak seedlings in the Jim’s Creek area of the Willamette National Forest’s Middle Fork Ranger District. Over three days the crew planted more than 600 containerized 3- to 6-foot tall seedlings using gas-powered augers and hoe-dads. Located about 20 miles south of Oakridge, Jim’s Creek is a Native American hunting ground historically kept open by burning. Using a combination of thinning, prescribed fire and planting seedlings, the Forest Service is working to restore ponderosa pine and white oak to the area, while at the same time enhancing the amount and quality of understory forage for elk and other wildlife.
WASHINGTON— RMEF volunteers and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife staff enjoyed seeing these elk while searching for others that had succumbed to winter during the annual Mt. St. Helens Wildlife Area winter elk mortality survey on April 27, 2010. Hiking along the mudflow area in the North Fork of the Toutle River valley, survey teams looked for bones and carcasses, marked the location of any found on GPS units and then determined the cause of death. Thanks to a mild winter, only two mortalities were found this year. The survey has been conducted annually with the help of RMEF volunteers since 1999.
WISCONSIN—The smiles on the faces of these kids spoke volumes to the success of the Youth in the Outdoors event held at Coyland Creek Game Preserve on August 8, 2009. The free event introduced 150 area youth ages 8 to 16 and their families to a wide variety of outdoor activities they may not have had the chance to experience otherwise. Activities included archery and BB gun ranges, fishing, canoeing and log rolling, among others. Volunteers from the RMEF’s Lake Country Chapter hosted an “elk camp” packed with information about elk and the RMEF, and sponsored a kids-only drawing for great prizes. Lunch was provided by the preserve and local merchants.