Featured Donors

The Ralph M. Bleak Memorial Endowment for Wilderness Education and Research
Establishing a bequest to benefit the University of Idaho and the College of Natural Resources’ wilderness and environmental education programs was a natural next step for Clara Bleak (pronounced “Blake”). Environmental and wilderness education has been a consistent theme throughout Bleak’s life. Growing up in Preston, Idaho, Bleak’s interests in nature were encouraged early on by her grandmother, who taught her how to make ceramics out of the local shale and weave baskets out of the marsh reeds. After earning a degree from the University of Idaho in 1946, she and her husband, the late Ralph Bleak, moved to the east coast where they enjoyed hiking and bird watching. The excitement of finding lots of "new" birds on their wooded Connecticut property further instilled Bleak’s passion for the outdoors. Since 1977, Bleak has generously supported the university and CNR and during that time has created two endowments to benefit wilderness research and environmental education. She made a trip last year to visit these programs at the Taylor Wilderness Research Station and the McCall Field Campus. With this bequest, her enthusiasm and passion for the outdoors will always be a part of the University of Idaho.
DeVlieg Foundation
The DeVlieg Foundation sponsors graduate stipends and inquiry-based undergraduate learning programs at Taylor Wilderness Research Station. Students develop a scientific research proposal, conduct research in the wilderness, write a research report on the project, and present results at a professional meeting. The DeVlieg Foundation also provides seed funding to attract new researchers, or sponsor workshops at the station. The DeVlieg Foundation has also assisted with Taylor facilities. To replace the loss of the Taylor bunkhouse and cookhouse to the Diamond Point Wildfire in August 2000, the foundation funded the construction of a new 11-person cabin for visiting students. Taylor named this cabin the "DeVlieg Cabin" in honor of their generous gift. The DeVlieg Foundation also provided funding for the renovation of the Dave Lewis Cabin in 2008, and partially funded the 2010 graduate research project that overhauled the Taylor power system and installed two solar arrays. DeVlieg is presently involved in supporting collaborative senior capstone engineering projects for producing sustainable energy at Taylor.
» Learn more about the DeVlieg Foundation
Bill Wallace and Mary Acker
The nearly 100 year-old Dave Lewis Cabin (named for Taylor homesteader and mountain man "Cougar" Dave Lewis) was recently restored to its near-original construction style and renovated so that research scientists and students could comfortably use the cabin year-round. This renovation was made possible with financial assistance from donors Mary Acker and the late William Wallace, whose passion, commitment and connections to the Taylor Wilderness Field Station inspired their gift. Additional assistance was also extended by the DeVlieg Foundation, and roofed by volunteers Dan and Mary Worsham.
Taylor Ecosystem Research Endowment
The purpose of the Taylor Ecosystem Endowment is to encourage and facilitate long-term research opportunities at the Taylor Wilderness Research Station and in adjacent areas within the Frank Church – River of No Return Wilderness by providing funds for long-term research activities in support of graduate student and or faculty participation in such research. Available funding could include, but is not limited to, supplementing grants, equipment for research, and transportation expenses to TWRS to perform long-term research. Funding by this endowment may provide support for researchers and projects originating at other universities.