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

Friday, September 19, 2014

Youth Get RMEF Memberships in North Carolina Elk Country

Cataloochee Valley, NC
(photo courtesy Chris Croy)
When you hear "elk country," what comes to mind? Maybe the rugged, snow-capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains ? What about North Carolina? Really? It's true!

The "Old North State," as many call it, is home to wild, free-ranging elk. Back in 2001, the National Park Service released 52 elk into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as part of a five-year experiment that was eventually lifted in 2011. Today, more than 150 elk roam on land managed by the park, the state and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee. In fact, Cataloochee Valley is one of the best places to view elk east of the Mississippi.

With that in mind, 25 boys and girls now have stronger ties to North Carolina elk and elk country. Thanks to a donation by Ray and Ramona Bryson, they are now among the newest hat-wearing, card-carrying youth members of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. It happened at the 2014 RMEF Great Smoky Mountains Chapter Banquet. The kids also received RMEF bandanas thanks to the Tony Schmidt family. In the photo below, they are also holding their certificates of honorary committee membership.

Hopefully, these young folks will continue to enjoy the benefits of RMEF membership as they grow up to serve on the committee. (Hunter and Ainsley already have several years of volunteer time under their belts.) There are already three RMEF life members in the group.

Welcome aboard!

Learn more about the RMEF youth membership here.

Photo courtesy Anna Ferguson

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