MISSOULA, Mont. — The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, a long-time leader in advocacy that engages with appointed and elected officials at the state, local and national level, recently created the RMEF Excellence in Advocacy Award.The new prestigious award recognizes individuals who helped advance RMEF’s advocacy goals and efforts regarding hunting, wildlife management and natural resource conservation that remain a high priority for RMEF and its members. Due to his outstanding leadership, dedication and a record of accomplishment and cooperation in support of conservation and its mission, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation honored and recognized U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-Montana) as the first recipient of its Excellence in Advocacy Award. “Senator Daines has been a staunch advocate of elk and elk country for many years,” said Mark Baker, chair of the RMEF Board of Directors. “More specifically, his recent and very intentional actions helped pass landmark conservation legislation that will have measurable, positive impacts on wildlife populations, landscapes, hunting and public access for generations to come. For those and so many of his other efforts, we thank him for his hard work.” “Conservation is part of our way of life in Montana, and an issue that brings both sides together. As a fifth generation Montanan and avid hunter, I know just how important is that we conserve our great outdoors and increase access to public lands,” said Senator Daines. “I’m thankful to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation for its partnership over the years and for presenting me with the Excellence in Advocacy Award. I look forward to continuing to work together on important issues like wildlife and forest management.” During the past two years alone, Senator Daines provided strong leadership and advocacy for several pieces of legislation important to RMEF, its mission and membership, including:
- Leading efforts to successfully convince President Trump to support and advocate for passage of the Great American Outdoors Act which fully and permanently funded the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
- Authored Senate Bill 4431, the Emergency Wildfire and Public Safety Act, which would address the “Cottonwood” decision, streamline the NEPA process for forest projects and help reduce the proliferation of wildfires.
- Authored and championed two reforms in the recently enacted Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, a categorical exclusion for firebreaks and emergency fire prevention authority for the U.S. Forest Service, that will help get forest work in the field and out of the courtroom.
- Ongoing active efforts to delist the greater Yellowstone grizzly bear, provide additional funding for chronic wasting disease and promote additional hunting and fishing access to public lands.
About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation: Founded more than 37 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of more than 231,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 8.2 million acres for elk and other wildlife. RMEF also works to open and improve public access, fund and advocate for science-based resource management, and ensure the future of America’s hunting heritage. Discover why “Hunting Is Conservation™” at rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.
Senator Daines and his staff are also in constant communication with the RMEF team, strategizing on priority issues and looking for winning opportunities. “Advocacy for issues central to our mission has been an organizational focus for decades and remains key to the core of who we are and how we operate as an actively-engaged conservation group,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “We heartily thank and congratulate Senator Daines for all he does in helping to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.” The award presentation took place on Dec. 4, 2021, at the RMEF Board of Directors meeting in Las Vegas.