Seeking New Partners! Support Gunnison’s Public Lands & Outdoors Experiences
The National Forest Foundation (NFF) is pleased to announce recent growth of the Gunnison County Stewardship Fund. Mt. Emmons Mining Company announced a $10,000 challenge match commitment to the Gunnison County Stewardship Fund to support stewardship projects in 2019.
In response to the challenge, Gunnison County has contributed $5,000 to help “unlock” the $10,000 donation. In order to unlock the remaining $5,000, the NFF is actively recruiting new businesses, organizations or private philanthropists who are interested in local stewardship and helping meet the match. With new contributors, the NFF can turn $10k into $20k and double the conservation impact in the Gunnison Valley.
The Fund is an innovative community-based strategy that supports local priorities to address recreation-related challenges and enhance outdoor experiences and forest, watershed and range health on the Gunnison National Forest and surrounding public lands. For many in the region, protection of public lands protects our homes and businesses, and furthers a tourism-based economy.
The Fund, spearheaded by leaders from local government, businesses and the nonprofit community, officially launched in 2018. In October, partners celebrated improvements to the West Maroon Pass Trailhead - the first project implemented through the Fund. Trailhead improvements at West Maroon Pass will continue in the spring, including parking improvements and trailhead signage. The NFF is managing the Fund in close coordination with the Gunnison Ranger District of the U.S. Forest Service and local contributors to ensure priority projects selected are most meaningful to the local community.
The engagement of Mt. Emmons Mining Company (MEMC) represents a significant new local partnership for the Stewardship Fund. MEMC acquired the current Keystone Mine from U.S.Energy in 2016. Prior to the acquisition, the mine had been owned and operated by a variety of corporate interests. MEMC is wholly owned by Freeport-McMoRan Inc.
MEMC is managing the ongoing water treatment plant to address contaminated water from the old underground mine. Efforts to reclaim surface impacts are underway and will continue over the next few years.
Through the Fund, the Foundation, MEMC and other partners are taking yet another laudable step to steward the cherished local public lands - and enhance the recreational experiences for residents and visitors.
Mt. Emmons Mining Company values this new opportunity to support mutual forestry stewardship initiatives with our community partners,” said Dave Gosen, Manager, Mt. Emmons Mining Company.
“The National Forest Foundation is thrilled to help expand the Gunnison Stewardship Fund, and applauds the Mt. Emmons Mining Company’s commitment to steward public lands in the Gunnison Valley."
The partners look forward to expanding the Fund’s impact by signing on additional businesses and local contributors in 2019. Local businesses and residents interested in getting involved or contributing to the Fund are encouraged to contact Emily Olsen, Colorado Program Manager for the National Forest Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org.