Rocky Mtn. Foundation focused on elk country
The Grand Junction chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is a busy bunch.
Every year, the local chapter is a fundraising machine, and 2015 was no exception.
In 2015, the Grand Junction chapter raised more than $572,000 to rank second for all chapters in the nation.
The Colorado chapters raised more than $1.7 million in 2015.
Over its 28 years, the local chapter has raised more than $4.48 million, making it the first chapter in Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation history to break the $4 million mark.
All the fund totals are net dollars.
Regional director Troy Sweet said it’s simple why the chapter is so successful.
“The community has overwhelming gotten behind (the chapter), Grand Junction and this community has been amazing over the years,” he said.
Funds are used for a variety of projects, Sweet explained. Things like prescribed burns, forest thinning, water projects, building and repairing fences, and more.
“Anything that makes elk country better, is what we do,” he said.
The mission of the chapters is to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and hunting heritage.
Sweet said they work with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the United States Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to fund projects that are located in elk habitat areas.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation was recently involved in a two-year easement project near Collbran. With the help of a Great Outdoors Colorado grant, a 520-acre easement on the Bull Creek Ranch was secured to help protect an elk and deer migration corridor.
The Grand Junction Chapter will hold its annual banquet on March 12 at the Two Rivers Convention Center. It’s one of the largest banquets of its kind in the nation.
There will be tables available for sponsors and a silent auction that includes a number of items including a three-day African safari package valued at more than $22,000.
The Grand Junction Chapter raises funds through a variety of events including its July golf tournament, working the Profession Bull Riders Finals, and its annual Hunter and Outdoor Christmas.
Sweet said they are always looking for volunteers to help with the chapter.
“We burn out a lot of guys because they do so much,” Sweet said.