The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has a membership of more than 205,000 including a whopping 11,000 volunteers in hundreds of chapters across the nation and after 31 years, it's time for a long deserved celebration.

"31 years ago we started off as a very small organization just for hunters in northwest Montana and now here was are with over 205,000 members," RMEF's Mark Holyoak said. "We're grateful for our volunteers who I guess kind of man the boat of our 500-plus chapters around the country. They raise funds for missions, they take part in volunteer projects and just care for nature which I think is important to all of us."

Holyoak said volunteer activities in 2014 ranged everywhere from removing old fencing, to planting trees; pulling noxious weeds to serving as mentors at youth camps.

"They put in more than 10,000 hours and took part in more than 155 projects, that sort of thing," Holyoak said. "We have a lot of projects that aren't reported as well and we have a lot of folks that go out and do good things and we never hear about it. We're just so appreciative of all the good things we hear happening around the country."

To date, Holyoak said volunteers have helped the RMEF carry out over 9,000 projects to protect more than 6.6 million acres of prime habitat for elk and other wildlife while also opening nearly 770,000 acres of land for hunters and others to enjoy.

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