The Memorial Bear Fund (MBF) was set up in 1992 in order to honor the memory of biologists Kirk Inberg and Kevin Roy, and pilot Ray Austin. All three were killed while conducting a grizzly bear flight in northwest Wyoming in 1991. Pilot Fred Reed was also lost in a plane crash in northwest Wyoming in 1995, and the Bear Fund is intended to honor their memory. The MBF was managed through the Wyoming Chapter of The Wildlife Society for 19 years, and was transferred to “Wyoming Wildlife – The Foundation” in 2011.
Bill Rudd, who chaired the fund since its onset, said “We transferred MBF to The Foundation because we believe they can provide the best home for the permanent memorial that so many people had worked so long and hard for.” The MBF has done some great work and provides a unique opportunity to benefit both bears and people in Wyoming in the future.” said Craig Showalter president of the Wyoming Community Foundation. The Foundation’s website and the funding to help bears in Wyoming will be a lasting legacy to the ultimate sacrifice that these individuals made.”
The MBF is dedicated to bears and people sharing the landscape. Money raised is used to fund projects for bears, with 100% of funds raised being used to support bears. Our ultimate goal is to have a permanent fund, from which we can fund bear projects each year. To date we have built a corpus of nearly $50,000 and have given away over $20,000 to worthy projects. Funding from MBF helps bears and people coexist through research about bear biology and behavior, and through public education and outreach. Recent projects have helped create safer environments for people to live and recreate in bear country with “Bear-wise” management including bear resistant food and trash storage containers. Projects have ranged from polar bear research to protecting habitat for grizzlies in the Teton National Forest. We have already helped fund projects in four countries and seven states.
Donations may be made to support the MBF by clicking on the “Support Wyoming’s Wildlife” menu on the “Wyoming Wildlife – The Foundation” homepage and selecting either the online donation link or printing the donation form. Please reference the Memorial Bear Fund in your donation if you desire the funds be used for this purpose.
Projects may be submitted for funding consideration from The Foundation by following the guidelines and criteria and other instructions found on the Memorial Bear Fund menu on the same homepage.
Thanks to Stan Harter and Bill Rudd for contributing MBF information, and to Stan for bear photos.