Maybe Ron Bogh never realized the impact he had on the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Maybe he did. Either way, he will be remembered as someone who stepped up at the right place and the right time to solidify a future for what was a struggling conservation organization.
Ronald Lee Bogh passed away on December 1, 2020, with his family by his side. A highly successful business owner, he created RB Rubber Products in McMinnville, Oregon, and took it public so it was traded on the NASDAQ market. Now private, Ultimate RB, is still operating and providing both product and jobs. Bogh loved the outdoors and was an avid elk hunter, golfer and traveler.
Elected to the RMEF Board of Directors in February 1988, he served the following six years, including a stint as RMEF treasurer in 1991.
“From a history perspective, he was a great board member and really had good business sense, but what sticks out in my mind the most is it was one of the turning points in our history,” said Charlie Decker, RMEF co-founder.
The year was 1986. A relatively new and financially struggling Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation held its second convention in Denver. Bogh and a small handful of other supporters showed their support by the big way they opened their wallets.
“It was really a critical time for the Elk Foundation at that time. We were really rolling the dice. I mean we were dead broke,” said Decker. “They spent a lot of money at the auction, far and away more than anybody else. That was the first time since we started I felt like maybe we were going to make it. We came away from there with a few bucks finally so we were no longer hand to mouth.”
And the rest, as they say, is history. With much-needed funds in the bank, RMEF rolled forward. Today, several decades later, RMEF and its partners conserved a total of more than 8 million acres of elk habitat all across the nation.
Bogh believed in RMEF’s mission. He jumped in with both feet in 1987 and joined the organization as a life member. Several family members since joined as well.
According to his obituary, Bogh was always there to give wise advice. He would often start a phrase with “As you walk down the road of life…” with another favorite of “Don’t push the river, it flows on its own.”
“He was a great guy,” added Decker.
(Photo source: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation)