July 21, 2017
RMEF Reaffirms Support of Public Lands
MISSOULA, Mont.—In light of continuing chatter and rhetoric aimed at privatizing federal public lands, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation continues to advocate its support for keeping public lands in the hands of America’s citizens.
“The 640 million acres of public land across the United States play a highly significant role in our wildlife system,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “Without them, our management system, which is the most successful in the world, would crumble and the health of our wildlife populations would deteriorate.”
Allen publicly challenged Steve Hanke, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, who called on the government to sell public lands to private ownership in a recent issue of Forbes magazine.
“We cannot afford to play games here. What we need is a focused, pro-active land management approach for our public land assets in this country. RMEF will not waiver on supporting public lands but we are seeking better habitat management and the resources to make that happen,” said Allen.
Allen highlighted a recent elk migratory study by Dr. Arthur Middleton that shows how critical public lands are to the survival of elk in the Greater Yellowstone region.
“We have to manage our public lands with more of a focus on wildlife,” added Allen.
RMEF maintains its decades-long position that public lands must remain public and that such land needs to be managed for the benefit of wildlife and public access but especially for the overall health of forests, grassland and waterways.
Since 1984, RMEF and its partners completed nearly 11,000 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects with a combined value of more than $1 billion. These projects conserved or enhanced more than 7.1 million acres of wildlife habitat.