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


Thursday, June 6, 2013

RMEF’s Habitat Partners: Elk’s "Habitat Heroes"

What can you do if you really want to ensure the future of elk and elk country? Elk need habitat or, in other words, a natural environment with an ample supply of forage, water, cover and range. You can help by helping conserve that land and other resources that are so vital to them.

More than 196,000 men and women belong to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation because they appreciate RMEF’s mission of ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage. As members, they show their financial support with varying levels of membership—from a $35 supporting annual membership to a $1,500 life membership. RMEF volunteers take that commitment one step further by also giving of their time to arrange and carry out big game banquets and work projects, seeking new members via fundraising drives, and serving on committees in more than 500 chapters nationwide. President and CEO David Allen refers to those volunteers as RMEF’s “rock stars.” While those dedicated men, women and youth keep the organization firing on all cylinders, there’s another segment of membership that kicks the RMEF engine into a higher, more effective gear. They are Habitat Partners. 

RMEF’s Habitat Partnership program recognizes major donors who make a minimum gift of $2,500 and tracks their cumulative philanthropic giving total. Habitat Partners are welcome to attend the Friends of the Foundation Breakfast at Elk Camp, RMEF’s annual convention. There are varying Habitat Partner contribution levels:



Once a Habitat Partner reaches the Imperial level ($10,000), he or she is invited to join the Habitat Council. Originally established in 1992, Habitat Council members work together to raise funds with a goal of seizing more opportunities for RMEF’s mission. The Habitat Council meets twice a year, at Elk Camp and a second summer gathering, to give input to the RMEF Board of Directors and executive staff on fundraising, membership and wildlife habitat issues. The summer meeting includes a site tour where members learn more about how their investments are working for wildlife. 

For example, the Habitat Council met in Flagstaff, Arizona, site of the first-ever RMEF big game banquet, for its 20th anniversary summer meeting and retreat in June of 2012. In addition to a more formal meeting, the Habitat Council visited the Grand Canyon and also toured the Tusayan Pipeline Water Project which uses reclaimed and recycled water to provide a more sustainable source of water for wildlife in the desert area. (In 2013, members will gather in Tennessee to personally visit an elk restoration site.)

Individuals who include RMEF in their estate planning become members of the Trails Society. Their gift will make an impact on elk country and help leave a legacy for our children and grandchildren to enjoy. Planned gifts can generate a retirement income stream, produce income tax deductions and reduce future estate tax liability. Such methods include wills, life insurance policies, retirement accounts, life estate arrangements, charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts, and charitable lead trusts. (For more information, drop an email to legacy@rmef.org or call 800-CALL-ELK and ask for the Development Department.)

So there are plenty of ways to ensure the future of elk and elk country. And plenty of ways to become a habitat hero through RMEF.

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