Gates Family Foundation Continues Investment in NWTF’s Rocky Mountain Restoration Initiative


EDGEFIELD, S.C. — The National Wild Turkey Federation’s  Rocky Mountain Restoration Initiative is getting a two-year, $200,000 boost thanks to a new investment from the Denver-based Gates Family Foundation, NWTF leaders announced this week.

Co-convened by the NWTF and the USDA Forest Service, the Rocky Mountain Restoration Initiative (RMRI) is working to increase the pace and scale of forest restoration in Colorado, in order to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire and to protect water sources and infrastructure, communities and recreational opportunities. This work aligns directly with the NWTF’s Four Shared Values.

In 2019, Gates Family Foundation awarded the NWTF a two-year, $200,000 grant for the landscape-scale initative and has recently added to this initial investment with another round of funding, awarding another $200,000 to bolster the efforts of RMRI for another two years.

“RMRI is being pointed to by agencies and conservation organizations across the West as a shining example of shared stewardship at work and bringing together all hands, lands and brands for our natural resources,” said Kate McIntire, NWTF’s RMRI coordinator. “We are immensely thankful for the Gates Family Foundation’s continued investment in RMRI and the pivotal work we will accomplish through their generosity.”

“Healthy forests are critical to healthy watersheds, healthy water supplies, healthy ecosystems and healthy economies,” said Whitney Johnson, Gates Family Foundation’s Senior Director for Natural Resources. “The Rocky Mountain Restoration Initiative addresses the large-scale challenge of landscape restoration with requisite urgency, cross-jurisdictional coordination, and ambitious target outcomes – and we are honored to continue our support for this innovative partnership.”

In the heart of the NWTF’s America’s Western Wildlands, RMRI is a national pilot under the USDA's Shared Stewardship Strategy and includes a diverse community of 170 partners from the public and private sector. Through this initiative, the NWTF is achieving its goals of stopping habitat loss, improving habitat diversity, forest health and water quality, while meeting national and statewide goals of reducing wildfire risk and increasing resilience to climate and other landscape disturbance. RMRI partners are currently focused on bringing together time, talent, and treasure in three top-priority landscapes across Colorado.

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About Gates Family Foundation
Gates Family Foundation is one of Colorado’s oldest private foundations, having distributed more than $450 million in grants since 1946. We work with partners and communities to build a more equitable, resilient, and sustainable Colorado where all people and communities thrive.

About the National Wild Turkey Federation
When the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded in 1973, there were about 1.3 million wild turkeys in North America. After decades of work, that number hit a historic high of almost 7 million turkeys. To succeed, the NWTF stood behind science-based conservation and hunters' rights. Today, the NWTF is focused on the future of hunting and conservation through its Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative. Since 2012, this 10-year initiative has already eclipsed goals of conserving or enhancing more than 4 million acres of essential wildlife habitat, recruiting or retaining more than 1.5 million hunters and opening access to more than 500,000 acres for hunting and other recreation opportunities. This critical work will continue to impact wildlife habitat and our great outdoors in the final years of the initiative.