July 17, 2014
RMEF Founders Return to Roots, To Be Honored in Troy, Montana
MISSOULA, Mont.—In recognition of the thriving conservation organization they founded in northwest Montana 30 years ago, the city of Troy will present Charlie Decker and Bob Munson, co-founders of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, with keys to the city.
“Troy holds a special place in our hearts,” said Munson. “We are so grateful for the support we received as we struggled to get RMEF off the ground and operating. Without that support, we would not be where we are today with our more than 200,000 members making a difference for elk and elk country across the nation.”
“I really feel the Elk Foundation was meant to happen but there was a lot of heartache, sweat, tears and prayer went into the startup of this outfit,” said Decker. “We are really looking forward to this homecoming party. It only makes sense that we come full circle back to Troy to recognize our 30th anniversary.”
“We’re excited about it. Troy loves a good celebration,” said Darren Coldwell, Troy mayor. “It’s great that Bob and Charlie remember their roots and the community that supported them. We’re going to make sure the founders have a great time.”
Decker, Munson and fellow co-founders Dan Bull and Bill Munson set up shop in the back room of a trailer house in Troy and officially established the RMEF on May 14, 1984. Over the next four years, membership grew to 32,000. By then, twelve staffers worked in separate offices spread across a vacant dentist’s office, a mini mall and an abandoned grocery store. Because of that growth, RMEF moved its headquarters 180 miles south and east to Missoula where it remains today.
The key to the city ceremony will take place in Troy’s Roosevelt Park along the banks of the Kootenai River on Friday, July 25, at 1:30 p.m. Mayor Coldwell and other Troy officials, Munson, Decker, the RMEF chairman of the board and various RMEF volunteers and members from across the country will be in attendance.