Elk NetworkVolunteers Step Up BIG-TIME in North Dakota

Conservation | August 6, 2017

Working together to help wildlife is contagious! Just ask folks who attended the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s second annual North Dakota Rendezvous.

Want two specific examples? RMEF member David Kembel took a flight from Massachusetts to Denver and then made the 10-hour drive to the Badlands of western North Dakota to join the team effort. And then there’s the caterer from Mississippi BBQ out of Williston. Not only did she show up early but she then jumped right in to help by picking up old fence posts. She was having such a good time that she actually had to be herded out of the field and back to the gathering place to prepare lunch.

In all, about 45 people including RMEF volunteers, Bobcat Company employees, landowners and their family members gathered on a ranch to roll up their sleeves to improve life for wildlife. In all, they removed approximately eight miles of old fence and replaced it with wildlife-friendly fencing. In other places, they removed fencing altogether to create more open space for wildlife to roam. They also saw some nice bull elk, too.

The volunteer work force enjoyed a night or two of camping together as well as freshly smoked pulled pork and smoked brisket. And the rancher expressed his great thanks.

“The landowner figures that we saved him about three years of work on fencing. He is very appreciative of what the volunteers did on his land, and wants to continue the weekend,” said Shawn Kelly, RMEF regional director. “He has a farm house that he threw mattresses in every spot possible to accommodate people that did not have a camper or did not sleep in tents while there.”