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2008 Highlights

The Mule Deer Foundation celebrated our 20th year Anniversary in 2008. MDF was officially incorporated on July 8, 1988 in Redding California.

In January 2008, MDF was in a position to become one of the leaders of the wildlife conservation community. We laid out a plan in which MDF growth, revenue, memberships, and committees would increase significantly. The volunteers and members responded in record setting dollars raised for mule deer, increased members, and increased local chapters. In 2008, we chartered our 100th local chapter . MDF is now ranked in the top tier of Wildlife Conservation groups in North America.

In February, we celebrated our 20th Anniversary at the national convention held as part of the Western Hunting and Conservation Expo in Salt Lake City. The celebration exceeded all our projections and expectations. MDF’s Thursday Celebration was a home run event; we were able to celebrate our past as well as look to the future. It was an honor to have MDF’s Founder; Mr. Emmett Burroughs, in attendance. We sold the Utah Statewide mule deer tag for an all time record of $187,500 at the joint WHCE Banquet on Saturday night. We also unveiled the MDF Endowment Fund entitled “Leaving a Lasting Legacy” which received over $200,000 dollars in pledges and contributions.

The winter of 2007-2008 reminded us how much mule deer habitat has been lost in the West the last 10 years. MDF volunteers mobilized to help feed deer in Utah and Colorado. Members also contributed over $15,000 to help purchase pellets to feed the deer. The hardest hit area was in the Gunnison Basin, Colorado. The banquet season jumped into high gear immediately following Convention and we didn’t catch our breath until the end of August when most of the banquets were over for the year. Once again in 2008, we raised a record amount of dollars for mule deer and despite a weakening economy, we finished the year strong with a 20% increase in net dollars raised over 2007.

MDF set records in 2007 and again in 2008 for the number and amount of state wildlife auction tags sold by any conservation organization. In 2007, we sold $1.4 million in tags and in 2008 a record $1.66 million were sold. The money from the sales of these tags goes back to state wildlife agencies for habitat projects, research and management programs.

MDF has also taken a leadership role in working with industry, other non-governmental conservation organization, state and federal agencies. MDF signed on as a partner with Shell Oil’s Healthy Lands Initiative in Southwestern Wyoming. This unique partnership has been endorsed by Governor Fruedenthal of Wyoming.

MDF partnered with Pheasants Forever for the second year in a row to purchase property in Montana. The Moylan Property which consisted of 1,000 acres ties together over 14,000 acres of public and private property open to the public.

We pledged $50,000 over the next five years to the Green River Valley Trust in Wyoming to help protect a critical migration corridor between Jackson Hole and Pinedale Wyoming. This migration corridor is critical for antelope and mule deer to get from summer range to winter range.

We renewed our National Memorandum of Understanding with the Bureau of Land Management and U. S. Forest Service. The MOU’s mean that MDF and the federal agencies will work together to improve mule deer and black-tailed deer habitat on public land.

In December, Eric and Patty Shields generously donated a 1200 acre conservation easement on their property near Melstone, Montana.

The Mule Deer Foundation is ready to begin our next twenty year journey. We are proud of our past accomplishments which have brought us to where we are today. We can do more together than we can individually. That’s what makes MDF great.

Download full 2008 Annual Report