Tight Lines: Put your money where you heart is
by Don Moyer
Mar 06, 2014 | 2835 views | 0 0 comments | 117 117 recommendations | email to a friend | print
About 15 years ago, my friend Joe Mangelos gave me a free ticket to attend a fundraising banquet for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. When I got to the dinner, I was feeling kind of guilty, so I bought some raffle tickets. Darned if I didn’t win a brand-new 30-06 rifle! I was hooked. Even though I’ve never been elk hunting, every year since, I make it a point to attend the elk foundation banquet.

This year is the 30th anniversary of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and in that time they have done tremendous things to preserve and protect habitat for all the critters I love. When the elk foundation preserves habitat for elk, it is also providing habitat for grizzly bears to rear their cubs, as well as habitat for wolves, mountain lions, moose, trout and waterfowl. Since 1984, it has permanently protected 1.1 million acres through either outright purchase or the purchase of conservation easements.

The vastness of more than a million acres is hard for me to comprehend. Try this: Close your eyes and try to imagine a panoramic view of the beautiful Yosemite Valley. Now multiply that vast area by a thousand. That begins to give you an idea of what the volunteers of the elk foundation have achieved.

You buy dinner tickets for about $60 a person and show up dressed in Western casual attire. Levis, boots and Stetsons are pretty much the uniform of the day. You can buy raffle tickets for some great prizes, and then there is also an auction for more great stuff. You sit down to a great dinner with some equally great people and have a wonderful evening. If you have kids or grandkids, that’s what it’s all about. It’s all about saving some of our incredible outdoor heritage for future generations.

It doesn’t matter if you live in California, Nevada, Idaho, Utah or Arizona, there are Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation banquets somewhere near you. To find the banquet nearest to you, go to their website, www.rmef.org, and click on whatever state you live in — and bingo, there’s a dinner near you.

Until next time, tight lines.

• Don Moyer, author and outdoors columnist for the Tracy Press, began writing Tight Lines more than three decades ago. He can be reached at don.moyer@gmail.com.

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