March 8, 2011
Dr. Terry Sweet Receives RMEF’s Highest Honor
MISSOULA, Mont.—Dr. Terry Sweet of Grand Junction, Colo., has received the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s highest honor, the Wallace Fennell Pate Wildlife Conservation Award.
The award honors special contributions of lasting significance for the benefit of elk, other wildlife and their habitat across North America. A bronze sculpture was presented to Sweet during the 27th annual RMEF convention, which ended March 6 in Reno, Nev.
Sweet has chaired the RMEF Grand Junction Chapter for 22 years, leading a local fundraising effort that has netted an astounding $2.1 million for conservation. In fact, Grand Junction has led the nation in RMEF fundraising and new supporting memberships for three of the past four years. That performance puts Grand Junction, with a population of about 42,000, on par with RMEF chapters in cities with 40 times more people.
In addition to an annual banquet attended by more than 800 people, Sweet and his committee volunteer countless hours on annual membership drives, special raffles, elk calling contests, barrel-racing and team-roping events and even competitive bird hunts.
“How does he do it? Simple. He is an outstanding leader with an elk hunter’s work ethic,” said Charlie Decker, a founding member of RMEF who presented the award. “Many members of the Grand Junction committee have served almost as long as Terry, and I’m pretty sure they’d walk barefoot through a patch of prickly pear if he said that’s how to raise more money for elk country. And I guarantee you, he’d be right out front leading the way.”
Wallace Fennell Pate, the Elk Foundation’s first president and chairman of the board, dedicated his time, energy and financial resources to the betterment of wildlife in North America. Pate, now deceased, became a national role model for groups or individuals concerned with natural resources conservation.