By Robert Lucke
The Hi-Line chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is having its third annual banquet at the Duck Inn Olympic Room Saturday May 13.
There will be good games, raffles, silent auctions, live auctions, good food and good company according to Mark Stolen, chairman of the Hi-Line chapter.
There will be a social hour beginning at 5:30, dinner at 7:00 and the auction at 8:00.
"The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is a non-profit wildlife conservation group which focuses on habitat," said Stolen. "Not only that, but along with striving for habit, the organization makes sure that land wherever possible does not get taken off tax rolls."
Both the auctioneer and master of ceremonies have volunteered their services. Auction items are on display around Havre in locations where tickets are on sale, Stolen indicated.
Tickets cost $50 per person or $70 for a family and that price not only is for the banquet but buys a membership in the Hi-Line chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Tickets are available at Bing N Bobs, Strombergs, Normans and Corral West. Dinner tickets are limited to the first 160 to purchase them.
"The business community has been unusually generous this year," said Stolen. "That makes for a large amount of merchandise and a lot of money that can be raised for habitat. That money all stays in Montana and when building elk habitat, the habitat for lots of other wildlife is being improved too."
Among the new activities at the banquet will be a very special homemade pie to be auctioned off, the buyer only eating one piece and then having it re-auctioned off until it is all gone. And there will be a Mother's Day balloon raffle in honor of Mother's Day that weekend.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation which is headquartered in Missoula employs conservation easements and habitat acquisitions to protect critical elk winter ranges, migration corridors and calving grounds. By 1998, the RMEF had also funded more than 1,900 conservation projects. Prescribed burns, water developments seedlings and other projects rejuvenate habitats for not only elk but also deer, bears, songbirds, trout and a multitude of other species.
Managing and restoring elk populations today, in parts of the country where elk haven't lived for decades, the RMEF is helping return elk to their historic habitats. The RMEF also funds research and management projects which help wildlife managers plan wisely for the future according to the foundation's mission statement.