September 11, 2015
RMEF Confirms Utah Expo Bid
MISSOULA, Mont.—In response to a high volume of calls and questions received related to the Wildlife Expo Permit Series in Utah, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation confirms submitting an application on September 1 to the Utah Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources (DWR) for the opportunity to administer the Wildlife Expo Permit Series and associated event.
The wildlife expo permits are a series of special hunting permits attached to an expo and convention event in Utah offered to the public through a drawing system administered by a qualified non-profit organization. 2016 marks the final year of a five-year term currently administered by the Mule Deer Foundation and its expo partner Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife. RMEF applied for the next series term beginning in 2017.
If selected, RMEF would bring its national convention and an all-new hunting and outdoor exposition to the Salt Lake City area beginning in the first quarter of 2017 and in the first quarter of each subsequent year through the term of the agreement, in an effort to support the administration of the Wildlife Expo. The expo permit series drawing and associated event would remain in Utah by statute.
“RMEF is excited about the opportunity to submit an application for the Wildlife Expo Permit Series in Utah,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “We believe we are in a unique position to bring the highest quality event possible with a strong diversity of partners to Utah and generate significant revenue for wildlife conservation there.”
An example of its commitment to generate significant revenue for wildlife conservation is evident in RMEF’s application, which includes a commitment to direct 100 percent of the revenue generated from the sale of the $5 application fee for expo permits to on-the-ground wildlife conservation projects in Utah.
Current legislation allows for the administering non-profit organization to keep 70 percent of the $5 application fee, while 30 percent is returned to DWR. In 2015, the $5 application fee generated more than $1.1 million.
“These permits are a public trust and directing 100 percent of the proceeds they generate for the benefit of wildlife and conservation in Utah is just the right thing to do,” added Allen.
This week the Utah DWR confirmed receipt of RMEF’s application. The DWR also informed RMEF of a new request for proposal (RFP) process that will be implemented for the first time to select the conservation organization that will administer the expo permits in conjunction with its convention and expo event. RMEF is awaiting details and instructions from the department related to this process.
Since 1987, RMEF and its partners completed 451 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Utah with a combined value of more than $51.3 million. These projects have protected or enhanced 999,138 acres of habitat and opened or secured public access to 27,192 acres.