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Rockford.edu / News

Dedicated to protecting the environment

11/08/2019 4:26 pm

“Working actively to conserve our wildlife is so important to me because if we don’t value and protect what we have we risk losing it. There is so much beauty that surrounds us that is worth protecting and if I can do my small part to ensure some sort of change is made, then that is what I’ll do.”

When he reflects on his experience this summer, Tanner Elliott says he can’t wait to go back.

Participating in his summer job as a Conservation Foreman at the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico was, without a doubt, one of the greatest highlights of Tanner’s college career. Tanner has been on staff at Philmont for the past two summers. The photos shared in this story are from his time in 2018 when the ranch experienced devastating fires. The ranch had to close for the entire season and cancel treks for thousands of scouts for the first time in its 80-year history.

Tanner’s passion for the environment is deeply-rooted in his sense of service. He continually partakes in the Rockford community’s Sheriff’s Explorer program, is currently serving as Rockford University’s Student Government Association Vice President, and successfully completed an Eagle Scout project to build an accessible seating area adjacent to the football stadium of a local area high school. 

All of these efforts contribute to Tanner’s drive to value and protect his community and the environment. He believes that our earth is a vital component of a community to which we all belong to, and with great effort is enthusiastically working to do his part to protect it.

His ambition to serve and protect may have never happened if it was not for his father and grandfather, both dedicated Boy Scout leaders. Ever since he was little, they demonstrated to him the importance of understanding and caring for the environment and local community.

“My grandfather inspired me to have the force to create a better community, and to give back to the community that gave so much to me.”

Tanner is a major in the Criminal Justice program here on campus. As he aspires to work in Fish and Game or conservation service, preferably for a Federal/State institution, Tanner is already gaining plenty of experience to draw from.