Imagine exiting the player’s tunnel and entering the “frozen tundra” and massive expanse of Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin, the oldest major stadium specifically built for the National Football League.
Home to 13 NFL championships, the Green Bay Packers hosted some memorable games over their 104-year existence. This summer, the iconic franchise hosted a team of a different kind – the 2023 Summer Midwest Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) Conference, an organization of 13 state and three provincial Midwest fish and wildlife agencies formed in 1934 (almost as old as the Packers) with a mission to provide a forum for state and provincial fish and wildlife professionals to share ideas and information, pool resources and initiate action to benefit the management and conservation of fish and wildlife resources.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation both sponsored and contributed to the 2023 conference, one of several AFWA such agencies meetings it attends annually.
“RMEF history is deeply rooted in partnerships with state agency wildlife professionals. We are proud to have a seat at the table in regional Association of Fish and Wildlife meetings to tackle the most pressing challenges to wildlife and habitat at a local scale,” said Jenn Doherty, RMEF director of lands and access (pictured on the left above). “Working together we will amplify key actions to the benefit of wildlife, as well as the future for sportsmen and women.”
A few weeks later and 1,400 miles to the southwest, RMEF attended and sponsored the 2023 Summer Western Association of Fish & Wildlife Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Topics included wildlife movement and migrations, landscape connectivity and effective partnerships, wildlife health and disease, habitat enhancement and resiliency, and other topics.
“The Association of Fish & Wildlife meetings allows RMEF to have an impact on the outcome of priority topics and helps inform our annual accomplishments for elk and other wildlife,” said Ryan Chapin, RMEF lands operation manager, who was in attendance. “The conferences allow meaningful interactions with an array of individuals from agency directors to passionate wildlife managers and biologists. Sponsoring these meetings is a point of pride for our organization.”
It also gives RMEF increased opportunities to collaboratively work with partners to help ensure the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.
(Photo credit: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources)