Over the past year, many of our members and volunteers have noticed changes to our board and organization leadership, and we want to take this opportunity to explain how RMGA has evolved over the past twelve months. Like many conservation organizations, Rocky Mountain Goat Alliance faced challenge and change over the past year. The good news is that we have come out the other side - stronger and with renewed energy and focus.
The first big change occurred in mid-2020, when RMGA hired its first independent contractors, Ross Bruno and Lee MacDonald, to help further the mission and goals of the Goat Alliance. Ross is currently holding the position of Development Coordinator whose primary responsibility is sponsor relations. Lee is currently the Operations Coordinator and works to keep membership issues in line and assists in many day-to-day functions. We are exceedingly lucky to have these two working with us; they are tremendous assets to RMGA, our members and our sponsors.
The next big change happened, following these hirings, when Pete Muennich (RMGA founder and President) made the decision to step away from RMGA. Pete was not only President of the organization, he also filled a seat on the board, and his departure meant a need to fill both of these roles in the future. During this transition, the remaining board members took on the task of managing and leading the organization. Around this same time, RMGA elections were on the horizon and one incumbent board member made the decision to step down; meaning we now had 2 vacant board seats and we sought nominations to fill those seats. Then later, while the election process was already underway, another board member resigned their seat; ultimately leaving us with 3 vacant board seats.
Fast forward to January of 2021 and we seated, not 2, but 3 new board members from our slate of candidates. Those new Board members are Becky Martello, Greg Van Den Berg and Jared Frasier. Bringing a fresh perspective and a dose of renewed energy, these new members hit the ground running and are already tackling many vital projects that are strengthening the foundation and strategic focus of the organization, along with paving the way to help RMGA branch out into new areas of conservation and connect with membership in ways that will help the organization realize solid growth over the duration of their respective terms.
2021 - 1st Quarter Update
During the January Board of Directors meeting Jason Peak was elected as Chair, Becky Martello was elected as Vice Chair and Darryn Epp was elected as Board Secretary. Our website is now updated and you can read a bit about your board members here.
We are proud to announce the first ever RMGA online auction. The event is scheduled to take place March 21-27, 2021. Following the lead of many other conservation organizations, and with the help of many significant and valuable sponsors, RMGA has put together a long list of packages and single items for auction. This auction will help fund many projects coming up in the 2021-2022 calendar years.
RMGA is in the very early stages of developing a Regional Representative program which will allow us to stay connected to local mountain goat issues in several different states and regions. Keep an eye on our social media and website for more information. We are currently accepting applications from motivated individuals that would like to volunteer with RMGA in this capacity. Although the boundaries of the regions have yet to be finalized, we hope to have Regional Reps for every major area on the continent where mountain goats reside. Having this program in place will help RMGA stay on top of any issues that might impact mountain goats, both big and small.
RMGA’s Conservation Committee is working hard to review and recommend projects that are good candidates for an allocation of RMGA support and resources. To that end, the Board and Committee are currently developing a process for accepting, evaluating and approving project proposals for funding. The Committee has a significant amount of experience in mountain ungulate research, management and conservation; they help ensure that the strategic priorities of the organization are science based and backed by research. Their work and dedication can’t be overstated and certainly is appreciated.
Unfortunately, 2020 threw out the majority of plans RMGA had of coordinating and/or supporting mountain goat surveys, with only Montana and Idaho being conducted because of the pandemic. While our first survey, of 2021 - a goat count in the Bitterroots of Montana - was hindered due to significant snowfall, we’ve got many more surveys on the books for this year. Watch for surveys happening in Colorado, Montana and Nevada - and the first-ever goat survey in British Columbia in June of this year!
To all the members, volunteers and sponsors, we at RMGA thank you for your support. The growth of our organization would not be possible without all of you, so thanks for sticking by us! We appreciate your time and efforts, and hope to make use of all the resources available to us to help mountain goats thrive in every way possible.