ABSF is dedicated to improving life on earth through support of wildlands conservation, disabled recreation and mobility, international microenterprise, and global understanding.
The Arthur B. Schultz Foundation supports:
•Organizations and initiatives promoting conservation of healthy wildland ecosystems and wildlife habitat, including supporting research and advocacy.
•Initiatives supporting outdoor adventure opportunities and mobility solutions for the disabled.
•Socially and environmentally responsible entrepreneurial projects recognizing an interdependent global economy.
•Initiatives designed to promote global peace and understanding between people of different nations and ethnic backgrounds.
Message from Founder and Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Arthur B. Schultz:
The ABS Foundation refocused its mission upon entering the new millennium. Since our inception, we have supported educational initiatives large and small, both overseas and in the U.S. In 2000, we fulfilled the largest grant commitment we have ever made: the renovation of a new building for the University of St. Petersburg School of Management in St. Petersburg, Russia.
We also made many smaller scale grants in our earlier years, primarily scholarships designed to help those in lesser-developed countries gain access to a Western-oriented business curriculum. The purpose of these grants was to have the students apply their business education to better develop their homeland economies at the grassroots level.
While the results of these programs have been quite successful, we have decided to rechannel our resources to other causes that have come to be more important to us. We now give priority to the following philanthropic endeavors:
Firstly, wildlands conservation has become a high priority. The negative effects of irresponsible development and unsustainable resource extraction must be countered swiftly before the integrity of our last pristine ecosystems is forever compromised. We believe in a simple principle: a focus on protecting our wildest remaining ecosystems, wildlife corridors, and open spaces, primarily through supporting conservation initiatives, research, and outreach. Geographically, we focus on the Yellowstone to Yukon region because of its unique position as one of the largest intact mountain ecosystems on the planet.
Secondly, we will consider initiatives supporting greater outdoor adventure opportunities and mobility solutions for the disabled. Having a firsthand knowledge of spinal cord injury, we believe in the importance of changing perceptions of what is thought possible for disabled persons. There is a need for an estimated 20 million wheelchairs worldwide. Nothing is more fundamental to greater opportunities for the disabled than independent mobility, something we take for granted here in the West. We support efforts to bring wheelchairs and mobility solutions to the developing world, while at home, we support recreational initiatives focused on increasing access to nature and wilderness.
Lastly, we will continue to support socially and environmentally responsible microenterprise, especially in underdeveloped countries where opportunities are scarce. We believe that the free market should also have a social and environmental conscience. Equally vital are efforts promoting tolerance and understanding between people of the world, for the highest prosperity cannot be attained without peace as its bedrock.
Yellowstone to Yukon Eco-Region (Y2Y) Map
Blackrock - Spread Creek Grazing Allotment
Moose Creek Allotment Map (Wyoming)
Major Grant Summaries - 2003
National Wildlife Federation
The Northern Rockies office of the National Wildlife Federation focuses on endangered species recovery and private land stewardship. NWF believes grizzly bears are a “keystone species” for protecting large landscapes in the northern Rockies. If grizzly bear populations can be recovered and linked together, we assure ourselves of healthy, functioning ecosystems with virtually all other wildlife species benefiting. To achieve the goal of recovered, linked grizzly bear populations, NWF aims its grizzly conservation efforts in two broad areas: 1) reducing conflicts between grizzlies and people, and 2) making additional habitat available to grizzlies.
Historically, control actions resulting from conflicts between public lands livestock grazing and bears and wolves has been the single largest source of carnivore mortality since these species were listed under the ESA.
The 85,000+ acre Blackrock-Spread Creek grazing allotment on the Bridger-Teton National Forest, immediately adjacent to Grand Teton National Park to the west, has been the scene of more conflicts between livestock producers and grizzlies than any other allotment in the northern Rockies. ABSF is supporting NWF’s campaign to provide a private fund to buy out grazing rights on targeted public land allotments such as the Blackrock, while NWF works with federal land management agencies to permanently retire such allotments from grazing.
The permanent retirement of the Blackrock-Spread Creek grazing allotment will dramatically reduce the need for expensive control actions by wildlife agencies and also the number of polarizing political and emotional conflicts that result when livestock are killed by grizzlies and wolves. With a willing buyer and seller, the problems associated with closing allotments are almost completely eliminated, creating a win-win strategy that will greatly improve prospects for grizzly and wolf range expansion and minimize the political controversy associated with such expansions. Indeed, the campaign to retire the Blackrock has the support of diverse stakeholder groups ranging from the Wyoming Stock Growers Association to the U.S. Forest Service.
National Wildlife Federation, Northern Rockies Office
The permanent retirement of the Moose Creek grazing allotment, the bulk of which lies within the Jedediah Smith Wilderness on the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, will dramatically improve habitat for a wide range of wildlife species, including grizzly bears, bighorn sheep, wolves, moose, black bears, mountain lions, and wolverines. Though not currently occupying the area within the allotment, grizzlies have been expanding their range in the Tetons from north to south, and closure and subsequent natural rehabilitation of the area will substantially increase the amount of habitat available to the great bear.
Bighorn sheep will directly benefit by the removal of diseases carried by domestic sheep, which have long decimated local Bighorn populations.
As on the Blackrock-Spread Creek allotment, with a willing buyer and seller, the problems associated with closing allotments are almost completely eliminated. This creates a win-win strategy that will greatly improve prospects for expansion of conflict-free wildlife habitat, and minimizes the political controversy associated with such expansions.
Idaho Conservation League
Idaho Conservation League (ICL) works to protect and restore the water, wildlands, and wildlife of Idaho through citizen action, public education, and professional advocacy. ICL is the leader of efforts to designate the Boulder-White Cloud Mountains of central Idaho as federally protected wilderness. Designation of the Boulder-White Clouds would expand the protected wildlands complex of central Idaho, one of the three cornerstone ecosystems of the U.S. portion of the Yellowstone to Yukon region (Y2Y).
The multi-year effort to create consensus on wilderness designation among the various stakeholder groups concerned with the fate of the Boulder-White Clouds is nearing the homestretch. The extensive public outreach activities of ICL have been creating the political inevitability that there will be a Boulder-White Clouds wilderness bill introduced in the near future.
The ABSF grant will support hiring of a communication specialist consultant for the Boulder-White Clouds campaign. The primary tasks will include:
ABSF expressly acknowledges the lobbying component of this project, and is acting in accordance with legal guidelines for private foundation support of lobbying non-profit charities. Specifically, the project budget provided by ICL shows the total ABSF grant amount for 2003 to be less than the non-lobbying portion of the project budget, as required by law.
Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative
The goal of the Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative’s (NRCC) Gravelly Range Grizzly Project (GRGP) is the conservation of Gravelly Range Grizzly bears in co-existence with local people. Situated along the northwest flank of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the Gravelly Mountains are ideally located for reconnecting the Yellowstone population with other wildlands to the west. Ironically enough, however, the Gravelly Range lies outside the designated Grizzly bear Recovery Zone, and thus is under no special management. Developing effective and feasible conservation measures here is critical. With help from ABSF funding, the GRGP will work with ranchers, citizens, agencies, and other conservation groups to design and implement conservation plans for Grizzly bears in the Gravellies.
The first iteration of this plan will provide a clear framework for improvement of Grizzly coexistence practices, conflict mitigation, and habitat improvement, a product of solicited input from a diverse array of local stakeholders and management agencies. The desired outcome of the plan’s activities will be successful conservation of Grizzly bears in a working landscape, allowing them to exist alongside many traditional economic and recreational uses of the Gravelly Range.
Model projects of this kind are vital to the implementation of large-scale conservation visions, such as the Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y) initiative. The Gravelly Range presents one of the best opportunities for small-scale field testing of the Y2Y vision. Effective Grizzly conservation here will serve as a success model for similar efforts in the Rockies and beyond, instructing and inspiring others who are working to reconnect wildlands, conserve large predators, and work cooperatively with local communities.
Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative
Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y) is a diverse U.S. and Canadian network of more than 160 organizations collectively representing over one million members, as well as leading scientists and individuals working together to maintain and restore the unique heritage of the Y2Y region. Nowhere else left on earth can humans still witness the full magnificence of an intact alpine mountain ecosystem. Combining science and stewardship, Y2Y seeks to ensure that the world-renowned wilderness, wildlife, native plants, and natural processes of this region continue to function as an interconnected web of life, capable of supporting all of its natural and human communities, now and for future generations.
As human communities and the need for natural resources have grown, this great region’s integrity has been steadily unraveling in spite of efforts to keep it intact. Working with teams of the region’s finest scientists, Y2Y has been working for over 3 years on identifying the species and habitats necessary to sustain the region’s biodiversity.
This effort culminates in the Wildlife Network, the first comprehensive identification of key core and corridor wildlife habitats from Yellowstone to Yukon needed to maintain or restore, as well as transition areas where human activity must be considered.
Funding will support refining and applying Y2Y’s Wildlife Network to on the ground efforts, and to engage new constituencies in supporting Y2Y’s mission.
Teton Regional Land Trust
The mission of the Teton Regional Land Trust is to conserve agricultural and natural lands and encourage land stewardship in the Upper Snake River Valley. The primary goals of TRLT are: 1) to acquire interest in land to perpetually conserve priority fish and wildlife habitats, working landscapes, river corridors, and wetlands; and 2) to encourage good land stewardship practices by helping landowners manage and restore their lands; increasing public awareness of natural resources and conservation opportunities; facilitating cooperative conservation efforts among diverse groups; and celebrating regional landscapes and people.
TRLT has expanded its vision to become a conservation partner in the much larger landscape, that of the Yellowstone to Yukon region. TRLT is a member of the Heart of the Rockies Collaborative, a collection of over 25 land trusts and state and federal partners whose goal is conservation of priority private lands in the Northern Rockies portion of the Y2Y. The Greater Yellowstone ecosystem (GYE) is a focal point of this effort, and TRLT has taken the lead in mapping critical lands for the Idaho portion of the GYE.
In recent studies (Reed Noss et al.), the Teton River Basin was ranked number one for its combination of ecological value and vulnerability, while the Henry’s Fork River corridor was top ranked for its irreplaceable biological diversity, with slightly lesser threat. Grant funds will be specifically used to support TRLT’s Upper Snake Critical Lands Initiative. This project has three facets: 1) development of conservation plans for the most threatened focal areas, the Teton River Basin and Henry’s Fork corridors; 2) development of land protection strategies through work with partners and potential funders; and 3) ongoing, active stewardship of protected lands.
Disabled Recreation and Mobility
Whirlwind Industrialization Pilot Project (WIP) – a collaborative effort between Whirlwind Wheelchairs International, San Francisco State University/CA, ABSF/U.S., ABSF/Norway, Atlas-Alliance/Norway, and HandiNor Wheelchair Manufacturing/Norway.
The mission of the WIP is the mass production of the Whirlwind off-road wheelchair design for assembly, distribution, and maintenance in third world countries. The WIP seeks to address the overwhelming need for wheelchairs in the developing world, while recognizing the need for wheelchairs that are appropriately designed for third world conditions. It is the participating parties’ belief that the bulk of current third world wheelchair distribution efforts neglect to address the fact that western wheelchairs are often unsuited for third world conditions, are too complex to be locally repaired, and leave the disabled populace in a dependent position.
Whirlwind Wheelchair International pursues a different strategy. Operating under the aegis of San Francisco State University, WWI has been designing rugged and simple wheelchairs for production and use in developing countries for over 20 years. To date they have established 40 workshops in 25 countries, with an estimated production rate of 5,000 chairs per year. The strength of the WWI model is distribution of a chair appropriately tailored to the more demanding conditions of the third world. At the same time, this approach creates a higher degree of independence by creating workshops employing disabled wheelchair users. These workshops then build additional chairs, handle repairs and maintenance, and thus help to create rare economic opportunities for local disabled communities. The drawbacks are that production volumes are low and do not make a substantial dent in the worldwide need for wheelchairs. It is also difficult for these workshops to benefit from new developments in material and production technology. [and why, pray tell, is that?]
The goals of the WIP are to achieve high production volumes, and increased economic opportunity and independence in developing nations through long-term industrialization (mass production) of the Whirlwind wheelchair. The eventual target for production volumes are 20,000 chairs per year, with a global structure of regional production centers and local assembly & maintenance workshops, as well as sustainable local distribution systems. The targeted retail price per wheelchair should be in the range of $150-250 USD. Related to this pricing is the goal of achieving a sustainable wheelchair financing system, which will enable disabled recipients to get these wheelchairs at subsidized rates.
Initially, the WIP will focus on implementation of a pilot project to demonstrate the successful application of the model. During the pilot project phase, the wheelchair design will be finalized, production processes established, and 30-100 Whirlwind wheelchairs manufactured and delivered for assembly and distribution in two third world nations to be collectively determined. All documents, inventions, and designs will be placed in the public domain, with no business ownership or secrets, in keeping with the fundamental philanthropic underpinnings of this project.
Ruedas para la Humanidad
Ruedas para la Humanidad, I.B.P. was begun in 2000 with a mission of improving the quality of life and restoring of human dignity to those who have a mobility disability, giving priority to individuals facing greater economic hardship. To date PRH has benefited over 1,000 individuals with wheelchairs and other assistive mobility equipment, in conjunction with the efforts of partner organization Wheels for Humanity based in North Hollywood, California.
RPH will use ABSF grant funds to realize its goal of establishing a Wheelchair Repair Shop to provide preventative and corrective maintenance of existing and donated wheelchairs in the city and state of Chihuahua, Mexico. The benefits of the Wheelchair Repair Shop will be:
It is the eventual goal of RPH that the Wheelchair Repair Shop will eventually become a self-sustaining entity without need for outside subsidies.
Environmental Travel Companions
Environmental Traveling Companions (ETC), established in 1972, has been a pioneer in providing innovative outdoor adventure and environmental education programs for individuals with physical and developmental disabilities, visual and hearing impairments, teens with cancer, and at-risk youth. ETC annually enables over 2,000 people with special needs to experience the challenge and inspiration of wilderness adventures. Through their sea kayaking, river rafting, and cross-country skiing programs, participants reach beyond preconceived boundaries, gaining increased self-esteem, a new sense of personal freedom, and a sincere appreciation for the beauty of the wilderness and the need to preserve our natural resources.
ETC is also extremely committed to diversifying the outdoor industry and environmental community in the Bay Area. ETC is making a difference by offering outdoor adventure programs to an increasing number of special needs participants and by training leaders and role models from diverse ethnic, economic, and ability backgrounds. Sliding-scale scholarship support for the Accessible Outdoor Adventure Program will enable individuals in need to overcome the often-substantial financial burden associated with participation in these activities.
Thai Foundation to Encourage the Potential of Disabled Persons
Foundation to Encourage the Potential of Disabled Persons (FEPDP) began the first disabled run disabled center in Chiang Mai, Thailand in 1998. Today, that center remains the only empowering, completely disabled-managed center in Thailand. Since its inception, FEPDP has been actively involved in increasing awareness of disability issues such as access to the Thai public, as well as assisting disabled individuals in gaining greater independence through vocational training and enhanced mobility solutions.
ABSF grant funds will support FEPDP’s wheelchair workshop by means of FEPDP’s Children’s Wheelchair Sponsorship program. At a cost of about US $160 per chair, 14 chairs will be produced for free distribution, expanding an ongoing program which has seen several dozen chairs already built and distributed to needy Thai children and their families. FEPDP’s program is beginning to address the estimated need for several hundred children’s wheelchairs in north Thailand.
International Microenterprise & Global Understanding
GreenWood / Madera Verde
Greenwood / Madera Verde (GW) is dedicated to intelligent, sustainable development. Specifically, they teach people who live in and depend on tropical forests to earn more money by managing and creating valuable wood products than they would make from conventional agriculture or logging. In the Honduran communities where Greenwood works, they teach residents to become skilled artisans, help them to sell their products, and assist landowners to create and implement community-based forest management plans that will supply materials for artisan production and other local uses. GW is actively involved in the training and development of these three sectors and is committed to the creation of productive linkages between them.
To achieve these goals, GW promotes appropriate, small-scale, woodworking technology, the efficient use of lesser-known and lower-value tree species, waste wood and nontimber forest products, as well as wood from well-managed and independently certified forests.
America Abroad Media
America Abroad Media’s mission is to inform and educate the American people about international affairs and facilitate cross-cultural discussion about international issues and America’s role in the world. YouthSpan is an innovative educational project that uses video-conferencing technology to connect students in the United States with their counterparts abroad for a series of classroom discussions on international affairs.
ABSF funds will be used to support a YouthSpan video-conferencing project between American and Turkish university students. YouthSpan believes a project connecting US students with students in Turkey can have an important impact because of Turkey’s strategic location and history as the middle east’s only democracy. Many American students are woefully unfamiliar with the history, politics, and culture of Turkey, including the basic differences between Turkish and Arab ethnicities, and the close strategic relationship between the U.S. And Turkey. In Turkey, there has been a sharp rise in the documentation of anti-American attitudes since September 11, 2001. Strengthening the ties between American and Turkish peoples would improve Americans’ understanding of Turkey and variants of Islam, provide Turks with a more complex and variegated picture of the U.S., And provide strategic benefits to both countries, especially in light of recent events in the region.
The goals of the project are: 1) to expose the participants to important aspects of the culture, religion, politics, and history of the partner country; 2) to introduce each group of students to the other students’ daily life, experiences, and general attitudes; 3) to increase the students awareness of international affairs and improve their knowledge of key international issues; 4) to facilitate strong interpersonal connections between students and educators; and 5) to develop the students’ cultural sensitivity, listening, and dialogue skills. YouthSpan believes that thoughtful and sustained cross-cultural dialogue and joint classroom learning can have a powerful impact on the next generation of global citizens.
Rugmark Foundation USA
The RUGMARK Foundation was founded in 1995 to put an end to illegal child labor in carpet production and offer educational opportunities to children in India, Nepal, and Pakistan. Through production monitoring, certification, running schools for former child workers, and building consumer awareness, RUGMARK attempts to reverse the root causes of child labor, while serving as a powerful economic development tool.
RUGMARK recruits carpet manufacturers to produce goods that are free of illegal child labor and made under safe and healthy conditions by adults. By agreeing to adhere to strict child labor guidelines, and by permitting random inspection of carpet looms, manufacturers receive the right to put the RUGMARK label on their carpets, an attractive marketing incentive. Every child removed from work is then offered the chance to go to school with RUGMARK’s help; indeed, some 2,400 former child workers have attended RUGMARK’s 11 affiliated schools.
ABSF funding will directly support RUGMARK Foundation’s Nepal Child Labor Prevention program. In Nepal, this will help sponsor the education of former child workers and at-risk children, fund and operate day care facilities for carpet workers’ children, and run awareness programs for adult carpet weavers. Educating former child laborers and other at-risk children ensures they will not enter the work force before the legal age limit, and more importantly provides them with greater economic opportunities for the future.
The Tahoe-Baikal Institute is an international partnership founded in 1991 committed to enhancing sustainable economic development, cultural understanding, and the protection of unique watersheds of the world. Programs include environmental educational training, research, and international exchanges of students, scholars, and practitioners in science, policy, economics, and other related disciplines.
The Tahoe-Baikal Institute’s (TBI) Summer Environmental Exchange program helps to develop young environmental leaders’ capacity to understand how science, law, and economics influence environmental policy using Lake Tahoe, CA/NV, and Lake Baikal, Russia as training grounds. Central themes to the exchange include: 1) bridging science and policy; 2) developing multi-disciplinary problem solving techniques; and 3) developing environmental leadership.
In a time of increasing global conflict and environmental pressures on the Sierra Nevada and at Lake Baikal, Russia, TBI promotes global understanding and positive change through its preservation and restoration programs.
Community & Discretionary
Teton Valley Trails and Pathways
TVTAP develops and maintains year-round non-motorized transportation alternatives for Teton Valley. TVTAP is also dedicated to expanding the valley’s opportunities for outdoor recreation and appreciation of nature, while linking communities, providing access to National Forest trails, and promoting a healthy mountain lifestyle.
TVTAP’s Community Nordic Ski Trails program groomed multi-use ski trails in Teton Valley during the winter of 2002-03. Groomed trails are in Driggs, Victor, Alta, and Teton Canyon. The trails will offer opportunities for a variety of users to exercise safely near where they live, and to enjoy the sport of nordic skiing. Ski trail development, and possible expansion, will be ongoing as the needs, desires, and financial support of the community become clear. ABSF grant funds will provide general operating support.