RMEF celebrating 25th anniversary in Hood River

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is a nonprofit wildlife conservation organization dedicated to protecting wild elk and other wildlife and the land they inhabit. This organization was started around 1984 and has around 1,000 members in the Gorge and 200,000 members nationwide.

The group has four main areas of focus: land protection, habitat stewardship, elk restoration and hunting heritage.

The Charity Navigator (America’s largest charity evaluator) has given the foundation six consecutive four-star ratings, its highest rating. Only 3 percent of other charities in America have had this achievement.

Recently, the RMEF has had its hand in local wildlife preservation agreements. On Dec. 30, 2013, more than 13,000 acres of land in the John Day area that adjoins the Malheur National Forest became permanently protected wildlife habitat.

The RMEF also joined public and private organizations last year to improve 100 acres of wildlife habitat in the Gorge. It has since received prescribed burn, herbicide spray and grass re-seeding.

Hood River will be the site for the North Central Oregon Chapter’s 25th anniversary banquet, to be held at the armory on April 26 at 4:30 p.m. This event will be limited to 250 people.

Last year, this fundraiser raised $50,000. The group hopes to hit $60,000 this year. Raffles, live auctions, and silent auctions will all be at the event courtesy of local business donations. ODFW is planning to auction off its statewide antelope tag as well.

The original co-founders of the RMEF, Charlie Decker and Bob Munson, will also be in attendance. Old-time country-western singer Joni Harms will perform after the banquet.

Tickets are available at http://bit.ly/1liXizu. For more information contact Randy Klantchnek at 541-490-1382.

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Latest video:

Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive

The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge

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