February 9, 2012
Jim Zumbo Receives RMEF’s Highest Honor
MISSOULA, Mont.—Jim Zumbo of Cody, Wyo., has received the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s highest honor, the Wallace Fennell Pate Wildlife Conservation Award.
The award honors special contributions of lasting significance for the benefit of elk, other wildlife and their habitat across North America. A bronze sculpture was presented to Zumbo during the 28th annual RMEF convention, which ended Feb. 4 in Las Vegas.
Zumbo is one of America’s best-known outdoor writers and host of his own television show. He joined RMEF in 1985, a year and a day after it was founded. The outfit was still teetering in infancy and Zumbo gave it only a 50/50 chance of lasting out the year. But he felt the spirit of the founding leaders, wrote a $600 check and became one of RMEF’s earliest life members.
In 1986, he volunteered for duty on the organization’s first board of directors. It was the first of two terms that Zumbo has served on the RMEF board.
Zumbo also was among the earliest contributors to “Bugle” magazine. His byline and endorsement helped build RMEF credibility among its most important audience—elk hunters. He continues to plug the organization at sportsmen shows, magazines, books and on television. For 26 years, Zumbo has helped make RMEF what it is today.
“Few people have done more than Jim to communicate the importance of conservation in elk country,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “But his influence also has helped to keep this outfit grounded. RMEF was founded by average elk hunters and they’re still the core of our membership. Jim never lets us forget that.”
Wallace Fennell Pate, RMEF’s first president and chairman of the board, dedicated his time, energy and financial resources for the betterment of wildlife in North America. Pate, now deceased, became a national role model for groups or individuals concerned with natural resources conservation.
Pate’s son, Jack, attended the recent ceremony and spoke about his father’s devotion to RMEF and conservation overall.