ARKANSAS—Arkansas State Chair Sam Culpepper joined other RMEF volunteers from the Central and Northwest Arkansas Chapters on April 4 and 5, 2009, to remove old barbed-wire fence from the Lane Bend area along the Buffalo National River. The crew, which also included volunteers from the National Park Service (NPS) and Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, cut, rolled and hauled away more than 1½ miles of barbed wire from the project site. The area is being converted to habitat for elk and other wildlife by the NPS following the expiration of a 25-year grazing lease.
CALIFORNIA—On June 13, 2009, volunteers from RMEF’s Redwood, Ukiah, Redding and Crescent City chapters joined others from the Mule Deer Foundation to haul slash from 5 acres of oak woodlands on the Lack’s Creek Management Area (MA) in Humboldt County. The Bureau of Land Management cut and chipped encroaching conifers at the site hoping to encourage the growth of oak trees and understory grasses…both vital to wildlife, including elk.
NEW MEXICO—Kids of all ages had a blast visiting the RMEF booth at the Outdoor Wildlife Bonanza hosted by the Lincoln National Forest on July 18, 2009. The Sierra Blanca Chapter handed out elk antler hats, tattoos and RMEF handbags, educated attendees on the Elk Foundation’s mission and even signed up several new members. Throughout the day, young and old alike could be seen touting the RMEF name. Other activities included a climbing wall, a station where kids could make plaster casts of wild animal tracks (including elk), and a special visit from Smokey Bear, who celebrates his 65th anniversary this year—and whose birthplace just happens to be the Lincoln National Forest.
SOUTH DAKOTA—“They are our future.” With that statement, one Brandon business owner, RMEF Sponsor Member and Big Game Banquet (BGB) donor helped assure that 27 young banquet attendees will remember their experience with the organization forever. Working with local committee members and RMEF staff, the long-time RMEF supporter (who prefers to remain unnamed) secured 30 Daisy BB guns prior to the 2009 Tri-State BGB. During a special presentation at the event held May 1, 2009, the youngsters received their piece of our hunting heritage as their parents and grandparents looked on.
WYOMING—Almost 3-year-old Addisen Maestas—wearing a shirt that says, “I’m a Life Member, are you?"—helped her uncle and Southwest Wyoming Chapter chair Travis Eskelson round up a few more at the chapter’s Big Game Banquet on March 29, 2009. Besides six RMEF Life Memberships, the chapter recruited 14 Sponsor Members, raised over $5,000 in cash and Legacy gifts, and brought in $2,900 for the banquet rifle. Eskelson, who this year celebrated his 10th anniversary as an RMEF volunteer, purchased a Life Membership for Addisen when she was 8 months old.