Ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Habitat Council: A Testimonial for RMEF -- “It is who I am and what I want to be!”

Fun, family, faith and wildlife conservation. That about sums up what the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is all about. More than 60 members of the RMEF from 19 different states joined more than a dozen staffers gathered in Knoxville, Tennessee, to celebrate elk and elk country at the four-day 2013 Habitat Council Summer Meeting and Retreat.

The gathering included a variety of events designed to strengthen already strong ties and solidify support for RMEF’s mission to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage. In reality, it was more like a reunion of friends who care for wildlife and the environment, and who professed a desire to do all they can to pass on their commitment to conservation to their children and grandchildren.

Among the highlights was an opportunity during the only formal meeting of the event for members to one-by-one take the microphone and express how they became involved with RMEF and, more specifically, the Habitat Council. What ensued were words of appreciation, wisdom, and the expressing of love for family, friends, country, wildlife, countryside and hunting. In reality, it was a testimonial to the RMEF and the mission for which it stands. The following are some examples of the heart-felt sentiments expressed:

“RMEF, as a group, loves the Lord, family and country.”

“What blows my mind is we have over 200,000 members and they’re as passionate today as when Bugle magazine first came out.”

“If I had more money to give, I’d give it.”

“This organization is an expression of who I am and what I want to be.”

“My friend gave me a Bugle in 1990 and I joined in 1990.”

“We’re here because we want this to continue for our grandchildren.”

“Pass it on! I wanted it for our kids and I can’t say how thrilled I am we’re seeing that today."

“I support my husband and I support conservation.”

“I wanted my kids to see what life was like in the good old days.”

“I love this organization and look forward to supporting it however we can.”

“As a young kid I saw my private hunting land broken up. I saw we could preserve land for the public. I saw we could protect land for the future. “

“One of the things that impressed me about RMEF is they did what they said they would do.”

“We joined RMEF with our grandkids in mind. We’re a ‘Pass it on’ household. We are so happy to have elk in Virginia!”

“My parents were so impressed. Not just for elk, but for deer, ducks and all wildlife.”

“We have to preserve the whole habitat to preserve the species.”

“God is a very important part of our lives and that is why we are drawn to you.”

“If it wasn’t for the RMEF and the Habitat Council, we wouldn’t have elk in Missouri and we are thrilled!”

S'mores anyone?
“I believe in what we do. I believe it is an investment in my grandchildren.”

“It is like a college reunion. You get tears in your eyes recognizing what this group does.”

“I believe in conservation and I’m a native of Tennessee. Seeing elk in the woods of Tennessee…I thank you for returning elk to my home state.”

“It’s wonderful what we’ve been able to accomplish. I had the opportunity to help with tagging the elk (in Kentucky). When you come away from something like that, you’re never the same.”

“They say you’ll do anything for your children. That’s why I’m here.”

“You set an example by taking the lead with what you can do with your checkbook.”

“We’re accountants. When you spend 90 cents on the dollars, that’s a great investment.”

“Why the Elk Foundation? It’s really about conservation for the future.”

“Our investment in this organization is who you are!”

2013 Habitat Council Summer Meeting & Retreat (Knoxville) 

Wednesday, June 5
Check in at Buckberry Lodge (Gatlinburg)
Private viewing of synchronous fireflies & glow worms
S'mores & hospitality

Slow Blind Hill performs at Cafe 4
Thursday, June 6
Check in at Crowne Plaza (Knoxville)
Reception & dinner at Café 4 at the historic Knoxville Market House
Musical performance by Slow Blind Hill

Friday, June 7
Habitat Council Meeting
--America the Beautiful video (featuring Daryle Singletary)
--Welcome & introductions
--Approval of 2013 HC winter minutes
--State of the RMEF
--Mission update
--Questions & answers
--Saturday field trip overview
--Breakout sessions
--How can HC members help?
Volunteer Princess dinner cruise on the Tennessee River

Volunteer Princess, UT Neyland Stadium, Dinner is served!
(clockwise left to right)
Saturday, June 8
Load vans & depart for project tour (Hatfield Knob Viewing Tower)
Lunch at McCloud Mountain Restaurant 
Return to Knoxville
Reception & dinner
Private concert by Daryle Singletary
Hatfield Knob Viewing Tower
Sunday, June 9
Departures for home

Daryle Singletary, road sign to McCloud Mountain, view from McCloud Mountain &
RMEF staffers (clockwise left to right)

(The 2014 Habitat Council Summer Meeting and Retreat will take place in Vancouver, Washington.)

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