A long-time advocate for wildlife and wild places received the prestigious 2020 Excellence in Wildlife Conservation Award from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD). Jill Tonn (right in photo), recently retired from a distinguished career with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, accepted the honor at a WGFD commission meeting.
“If we don’t take care of our wildlife and wild places, who is going to do it? What kind of legacy are we leaving for future generations? There is only so much land, so we need to keep public access for people, and we need to be mindful of the migration routes and try to keep them safe,” said Tonn, as reported by the Thermopolis Independent Record.
Tonn spent more than 25 years associated with RMEF where she was the first female regional director to attain the position of senior regional director. Well-loved across Wyoming and respected by RMEF colleagues, members and volunteers alike, Tonn helped RMEF set a standard for mission accomplishment.
Despite living in the least populous state in the country, Tonn helped Wyoming’s 8,700 members and 22 chapters reach the rank of top fundraising state on numerous occasions. And RMEF turned those funds into impressive on the ground mission accomplishment. During her tenure, RMEF helped protect or enhance 1.2 million acres and open or improve access to 200,000 acres across the state while supporting many research, conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects.
(Photo source: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation)