MISSOULA, Mont.— How valuable are volunteers for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation? In 2018, the value of their donated time and labor equates to $24.1 million.
“The monetary value of $24.1 million in time and labor is staggeringly impressive, but honestly what our volunteers do for RMEF’s mission is truly priceless,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “A number does not do them justice in regard to the time and effort they put forth or the successful results they consistently deliver.”
The Independent Sector used data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to calculate the 2018 value of one volunteer hour as $24.69. As of December 31, 2018, RMEF had a volunteer army numbering 12,223 men, women and children. They average approximately 80 hours of service annually which equals $24,142,870 of total conservation value for elk and elk country.
RMEF volunteers host banquets, membership drives and other fundraising events that generate significant funding across more than 500 chapters from coast-to-coast. That funding is then placed back on the ground in their respective states and nationwide to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.
Additionally, more than 1,200 volunteers from 125 chapters donated 17,000 hours to carry out more than 155 conservation projects in 2018 including fence pulls, constructing or repairing wildlife water developments, noxious weed treatments, forest thinning, planting seedlings and other work. They also donated time and energy to volunteer at youth camps, seminars and other activities.
“There is no way to overstate this. We simply cannot thank our volunteers enough for their contributions to our conservation mission!” added Weaver.
Since 1984, RMEF volunteers helped to protect or enhance more than 7.4 million acres of wildlife habitat, open or improve access to 1.2 million acres, complete nearly 12,000 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects, and assist with the successful reintroduction of elk in seven states and one Canadian province.