April 8, 2014
Torstenson Family Endowment Pays Huge Dividends for Hunters, Hunting Heritage
MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is pleased to announce the Torstenson Family Endowment (TFE) provided nearly a million dollars in its first year to accelerate mission priorities.
TFE funding helped finalize land projects in Montana, Oregon and Washington, permanently protecting nearly 14,000 acres and secured public access to more than 50,000 additional acres for hunters and others to enjoy. The endowment also provided funding for hands-on youth education initiatives, camps, scholarships and an Idaho elk population study.
“I’d like to think Bob Torstenson would be very proud of the many projects we successfully tackled in his name so far,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “He had a passion for hunting and for passing along our hunting lifestyle and traditions to our kids and grandkids. RMEF did that in 2013 and we have many similar projects on the front burner for 2014.”
2013 TFE projects:
Student Elk Management Education Day—Provided funding for a science field trip for 163 fourth-grade students to study elk and elk habitat at the Peck Ranch Conservation Area in Missouri.
Archery Start-Up Program—Provided an archery starter kit for establishing a National Archery in the Schools Program at Smithville High School in Mississippi.
Youth Archery Hunts—Provided funding for an annual mentored youth archery hunt, including lessons in wildlife management at the Torstenson Family Youth Conservation Center in Illinois.
Elk Education Trunks—Provided three elk education trunks that contain lesson plans, activities, antlers, fur, skulls and other material about elk and elk habitat that is anticipated to reach a combined 6,000 students in New Mexico, South Carolina and South Dakota.
Wildlife Leadership Awards—Awarded $2,000 college scholarships to four undergraduate biology students to foster a continued career interest in wildlife biology and management.
Clearwater Basin Elk Nutrition Study—Provided funding for study and model development research that monitors elk responses to landscape restoration of early-seral habitat in north-central Idaho where elk populations continue their decline over the last three decades.
Pine Canyon Acquisition—Provided funding for a 640-acre land acquisition of important habitat for elk and other wildlife on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains in Washington.
Red Hill Access Acquisition—Provided funding for a 40-acre land acquisition in the Big Snowy Mountains that improved access to nearly 18,000 acres of public lands featuring important habitat for elk and other wildlife in central Montana.
Headwaters of the John Day River Acquisition—Provided funding for a 13,082-acre land acquisition of private acreage commingled with the Malheur National Forest that secured and improved access to tens of thousands of acres of publicly-owned National Forest lands. The land is vital habitat for elk, other wildlife and of critical importance to fish in north-central Oregon.
RMEF uses proceeds from the TFE solely to further its core mission programs of permanent land protection, habitat stewardship, elk restoration and hunting heritage.