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home : arts & entertainment : arts & entertainment August 18, 2017

4/2/2013 1:14:00 PM
Sisters supports elk foundation
Elk are a magnificent part of the Sisters Country and many local folks help them through RMEF. photo by Kate Thomas Keown
+ click to enlarge
Elk are a magnificent part of the Sisters Country and many local folks help them through RMEF. photo by Kate Thomas Keown

By Jim Cornelius
News Editor

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) is one of the premier conservation organizations in the United States. The organization brings passionate hunters and non-hunters alike together in an effort to preserve and enhance habitat for the majestic Wapiti.

While RMEF has not conducted specific projects in Sisters Country, it has the support of dozens of Sisters Country hunters, conservationists, and many local businesses. That support will be on display on Saturday, April 13, when the Central Oregon Chapter of RMEF holds its annual banquet at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds.

The evening begins with a cocktail social at 4:30 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m., followed by a live auction for world-class wildlife art, firearms, unique collectibles and more.

"We promise a good time for a great cause," said David Hiller, of Sisters, who volunteers with a local committee of conservationists to host the annual event. "This is the 27th annual banquet that we've hosted here in Central Oregon, and we're proud of our continuing support for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation's conservation work across the country."

Hiller notes that many Sisters businesses have contributed to the auction, and "there's a multitude of people from Sisters who will be at the banquet."

Sisters artist Dan Rickards is renowned for his wildlife paintings, many of which have been auctioned at RMEF events. Rickards has been honored as a Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation featured artist.

Hiller, himself an experienced hunter, notes that RMEF appeals also to non-hunters who are passionate about its habitat conservation mission. RMEF has conserved or enhanced habitat on over 5.8 million acres, and also works to keep lands open to hunting, fishing and other recreation. Since elk don't live in ugly places, protecting elk habitat means conservation of some of the most beautiful and ecologically important habitat in the United States.

Much of their work is in the American West, but thanks to RMEF, wild elk populations have been restored in parts of their former range such as Kentucky, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Arkansas.

RMEF often partners with other organizations such as The Nature Conservancy, Trout Unlimited and the local Deschutes Land Trust to execute projects. The organization has raised more than $18 million in Oregon, with a very high percentage of those funds used "on the ground" to conserve 723,370 acres of habitat.

The annual banquet welcomes those who support its mission. Tickets are $75 per person and $115 per couple. Each single and couple ticket includes an annual membership, a yearly subscription to Bugle magazine and a Buck Packlite Caper Knife.

For ticket information and reservations, contact Tom Jacobson at 541-383-8518 or at More information, including online reservations, is available at

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