Yosemite Fund President Bob Hansen and Yosemite National Park Superintendent Michael J. Tollefson were in Mammoth Lakes to receive a $100,000 check from Gary Orr, Senior Vice President and Region Manager for Wells Fargo.
The Yosemite Fund is an independent, private, nonprofit foundation devoted to protecting, preserving, and restoring Yosemite National Park. It has granted more than $20 million since it was incorporated in 1988, providing funding for habitat restoration, trail repair and access, scientific research, wildlife management, cultural and historic resource preservation, and visitor services and education. They have raised over $12 million for the Lower Yosemite Fall Project.
Tollefson and Hansen received the $100,000 check at Mammoth Mountain in Mammoth Lakes. Rusty Gregory, Yosemite Fund Council Member and CEO of Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, has been instrumental in facilitating the donation from Wells Fargo Foundation.
The Wells Fargo Foundation gift helped the Yosemite Fund meet the Kresge Challenge. The nonprofit Yosemite Fund and Yosemite National Park were awarded a $600,000 challenge grant by The Kresge Foundation to help restore the majesty of the approach to Lower Yosemite Fall – a grant that will be paid as The Yosemite Fund met the challenge and raised $1.8 million in 18 months.
The Kresge Foundation is an independent, private foundation created by the personal gifts of Sebastian S. Kresge. The Kresge Foundation, based in Michigan, awarded 38 grants in 2003 totaling more than $25 million. These grants were made in the areas of higher education, health and long-term care, arts and humanities, human services, and science and the environment.
The Lower Yosemite Fall Project is designed to enhance the visitor experience at one of Yosemite Valley´s most popular natural destination areas, provide accessibility to people with mobility impairments, and restore previously impacted areas to natural conditions.
“We are grateful for the generous donation from Wells Fargo Foundation and the continued support of The Yosemite Fund,” Tollefson said. “It´s through the vision of National Park Service partners that the National Park Service is assisted in achieving our mission of protecting our nation´s natural wonders and providing our visitors a memorable experience.”