Colorado Chapter of The Wildlife Society Fund Raising Effort

Candace J. Taylor Colorado Wildlife Fund and Jim Olterman Scholarship

Jim Olterman

Jim Olterman was a highly respected and well-loved wildlife professional, deftly effective as a communicator and strategist, and deeply passionate about wildlife conservation. His family, friends and colleagues have enthusiastically celebrated his life and achievements in an effort to sustain his legacy as a model wildlife professional and down-to-earth human being. Since 2004, the Colorado Chapter of The Wildlife Society (CCTWS) has honored numerous undergraduate student members with a scholarship named for Jim Olterman. The Chapter also presents the prestigious Jim Olterman Professional Achievement in Wildlife Management Award at the annual meeting. Further, in Dolores County in southwestern Colorado, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) named the Jim Olterman/Lone Cone State Wildlife Area in honor of Jim in a place teaming with wildlife and in the part of the state where Jim worked for much of his career with CPW as a law enforcement officer, biologist and pilot. He died in 2002 in a plane crash in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains while stocking fish in high elevation lakes. According to colleague Rick Kahn, “Jim certainly left Colorado and its wildlife a better place than he found it and he died doing exactly what he loved doing”.

Jim Olterman’s Biography

Endowment purpose:

The CCTWS intends to create an endowed scholarship fund to honor the legacy of Jim Olterman (see Jim Olterman story attached). Jim’s deep knowledge based on years of experience as a field biologist and manager, his valuable and diverse skill set, his ability to make friends and work with a diversity of stakeholders, and his “southern charm and magic” were a potent mix that greatly benefited wildlife in Colorado. Further, he was a strong advocate for wildlife professionals and supported the CCTWS and The Wildlife Society. The proposed fund will generate interest revenue to support a sustained and more generous undergraduate student scholarships for CCTWS student members attending a Colorado university or college. The CCTWS intends to continue our long-term support of students to enhance their intellectual development, professional affiliations, networking opportunities, service to wildlife and the wildlife profession, career planning, and leadership roles. The scholarship will encourage students to work hard as team players with innovative ideas using creative approaches, just like Jim.

Scholarship Criteria

The scholarship criteria will remain true to its original charter set up by the CCTWS board in collaboration with Robin Olterman, Jim’s wife.

To be eligible for the Jim Olterman Scholarship, a student must be a member of either The Wildlife Society or the Colorado Chapter of The Wildlife Society (or if not current members applicants may submit a membership form when submitting the scholarship application). The student must have completed two-thirds of the credits required for graduation with a Bachelor’s Degree in Wildlife Biology or Management or a related natural resources field from a Colorado university or college.

The application requires 1) a resumé, 2) a transcript indicating number of earned credits and grade point average, 3) two letters of reference (one from a professor that speaks to academic achievement and the second from a supervisor that assesses job or volunteer performance in a natural resources-related position), and 4) an essay describing the student’s interests in the wildlife field, career goals related to wildlife management, and how the scholarship would be used to further professional development.

Fund raising and investment strategy:

In 2017-18 the CCTWS received two generous donations from Candace Taylor summing to $41,000. These gifts will be invested as the Candace J. Taylor Colorado Wildlife Fund. These gifts will also be used to jump start our 2018 fund raising campaign. Our financial goal of $65,000 will be met by the Candace Taylor gift (63%) and new revenue ($24,000) generated through fund raising (37%). The Candace Taylor gift provides a 2:1 match toward the fund raising goal, and leaves some work for our membership and friends to achieve the target.

We will kick-off the fund raising campaign on 1 July 2018 and run through the 2019 annual meeting in February.

With nearly 400 CCTWS members, an average contribution of $50 would yield $20,000. We hope many members will see the value in contributing at this opportune time to leverage the generosity of Candace Taylor, to promote Jim Olterman’s legacy as a dedicated, competent and well-loved Colorado wildlife biologist, and to support the professional development and education of college students.

In addition to a nearly 2:1 match up to our $24,000 goal, we will thank all donors with their names engraved on a permanent plaque in honor of Jim Olterman. We will house the plaque at CSU or at the CPW office in Denver or at the Jim Olterman/Lone Cone State Wildlife Area.

Investment strategy and forecasted revenues:

Our vision is to invest the gift from Candace Taylor into the Candace J. Taylor Colorado Wildlife Fund with portions of the revenues being generated to fund the Jim Olterman Scholarship ($1,500-2,000). Currently, the board has deposited the $41,000 gift in a money market account at a local bank in Gunnison, CO. If we are able to leverage the $41,000 with an additional $24,000 from fund raising efforts, we will reach our initial investment goal of $65,000. According to an independent financial advisor, this capital would conservatively generate $1,800 of net annual interest revenue (after accounting for investment broker fees). Any interest revenue up to $2,000 would be available to fund the Jim Olterman Scholarship, beyond that, the CCTWS board envisions creating additional membership benefits such as CCTWS member grants or a wildlife summer internship program for students. In the long-term, if the CCTWS board continues to raise additional income to invest into the Candace J. Taylor Colorado Wildlife Fund, future wildlife professionals in Colorado will benefit greatly as this resource will grow and help to define the work of the Society.

Who should contribute?

The scholarship fund raising effort creates an opportunity for CCTWS members as well as non-members interested in supporting wildlife conservation and education to direct support to this specific initiative. In particular, friends of Jim Olterman who wish to sustain his legacy may wish to take this opportunity to donate. We encourage all of our members who have the means to make a donation to help support this effort to promote wildlife education and student professional development, to sustain Jim Olterman’s legacy, and to leverage the generous gift of Candace J. Taylor.

How to make a gift?

Starting July 1, 2018 please visit to make an on-line donation through Paypal. Further, you can link to our donation page through Facebook at You can also write a check made to Colorado Chapter of The Wildlife Society (Memo: Jim Olterman Scholarship) and send to Nathan Seward, Treasurer, c/o Colorado Chapter of The Wildlife Society, 300 West New York, Gunnison, CO 81230.

All gifts are tax deductible and CCTWS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donation receipts will be mailed to every donor.

Questions and or comments can be directed toward coloradotws<at>gmail<dot>com