ELK FOUNDATION RECEIVES $30 MILLION ENDOWMENT

RMEF_logoConservation organization gets a huge infusion of funds to support its work on wildlife habitat and hunting heritage.

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has announced that it is the recipient of one of the largest endowments ever gifted to a hunter-based, wildlife conservation organization. The $30 million Torstenson Family Endowment will allow RMEF to vastly accelerate the rate at which its carries out its mission to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.

“This is a monumental game-changer for RMEF,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “Thanks to the generosity of the Torstenson family, this endowment allows RMEF to expand Bob Torstenson’s passion and vision for wildlife and conservation in ways we could have never imagined.”

The Torstenson Family Endowment (TFE) comes as a result of the sale of the Torstenson Wildlife Center, formerly known as the Double H Ranch, a sprawling 93,403-acre ranch in west-central New Mexico that was gifted to RMEF by Bob Torstenson in 2002.

RMEF will use proceeds from the TFE to further its core mission programs: permanent land protection, habitat stewardship, elk restoration, and hunting heritage.

Allen told one interviewer that RMEF had been maintaining the ranch since 2002, but it became difficult and expensive for the organization to do so, so a sale to a conservation-minded buyer was arranged to form the basis of the endowment. Interest from the endowment, expected to average 1 million to 1.5 million every year, will be spent to further RMEF’s wildlife habitat, elk restoration, and hunter access goals.

“The impact this endowment will have on RMEF’s on-the-ground projects is incredibly far-reaching,” said Blake Henning, RMEF vice president of Lands and Conservation. “This gives us the potential to increase our mission accomplishments substantially. RMEF plans to invest half a million dollars this year alone toward improving elk habitat and supporting hunting heritage projects.”

RMEF still maintains a conservation easement on the entire 93,403 acres of deeded land from the original ranch, which stretches between two mountain ranges—the Datils and the Gallinas—and two portions of the Cibola National Forest. It harbors thickly timbered ridges, deep coulees and steep hillsides. At the property’s center is an expansive plain, 80-acre lake and accompanying riparian habitat. It is home to a large herd of elk, as well as deer, pronghorns, mountain lions, coyotes, quail, and a variety of songbirds and other species. The landscape today looks the same as when Bob Torstenson originally placed the easement on the property to conserve and protect its habitat in perpetuity.

Source:  Sports Affield

 

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