Elk NetworkPartner Recognition: U.S. Forest Service

40th Anniversary , General | May 9, 2024

(Left to right: RMEF President & CEO Kyle Weaver, U.S. Forest Service Associate Chief Angela Coleman & RMEF Chief Conservation Officer Blake Henning)

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation recognized two long-time conservation partners at its 40th Anniversary Celebration.

The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) came into existence in 1905 when President Theodore Roosevelt, an avid outdoorsman and hunter, created the new federal agency and named Gifford Pinchot as its first chief, tasked with overseeing forest management.

The USFS-RMEF partnership is an extensive one, dating back to 1985, one year after RMEF’s founding, when the two collaborated on a prescribed burn to rejuvenate elk winter range in northwest Montana.

RMEF-USFS Cumulative Project History

  • 3,715 projects
  • 3,861,508 acres enhanced
  • 157,091 acres conserved
  • 363,373 acres of improved public access
  • $388.6 million in conservation value

RMEF recognized the Forest Service for its contributions at its celebration. Below are the words of USFS Associate Chief Angela Coleman.

On behalf of the U.S. Forest Service and all of our 35,000 employees, we can say, “Hello, old friend.” And we can really mean it because 40 years. What an incredible history, an incredible legacy and incredible friendship. We are so proud of that friendship.

We want you to know our message to you is that your work is making a difference – 3,700 projects, nearly $400 million invested to improve habitat, to advance research, to help with access. You have helped us on the ground. I also want to say that your words matter. When you speak, they are making a difference in how we steward these lands for our uses today and in the future. We are so grateful for the friendship, and you’ve been with us for a while. We want to say thank you for teaching us how to share leadership, how to share stewardship. And we’re looking forward to the future with you. There’s one saying I want to leave us with, and it is that “if you want to go fast, go alone but if you want to go far, go together,” and we’re proud to be with you.