Volunteers Enhance South Dakota Elk Country

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They came from all across the Mount Rushmore State. More than 30 volunteers with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation gathered for South Dakota’s annual RMEF Rendezvous. Sure, there were lots of smiles, laughter, good food and the sharing of elk hunting tales, but the highlight was getting to work into the Black Hills backcountry of Custer State Park.

“Thanks to @RMEF for volunteering in the park! The group removed damaged fence from the Legion Lake Fire and constructed an aspen tree enclosure to promote wildlife habitat,” Custer State Park wrote on its Twitter page. “We can’t thank them enough for the hours they put in to help make Custer State Park better for everyone!”

Volunteers built fencing around aspen to allow the trees to strengthen and reproduce. They also removed about two miles of fencing damaged by a wildfire plus they fixed two wildlife water guzzlers and repaired fencing around a guzzler enclosure.

“Our volunteers here in South Dakota are amazing,” said Mason Cooper, RMEF regional director. “They work their tails off every year to host great banquets that generate thousands of dollars for habitat in South Dakota. And come every rendezvous, they come together to get their hands dirty to give even more back to habitat and conservation by completing work projects to help our South Dakota elk and other wildlife.”

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(Photo source: Custer State Park & Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation)