TED MARTIN FAMILY GRANT
The Board of Directors of the Kings River Conservancy is pleased to announce the receipt, through the Fresno Regional Foundation, of a substantial Ted Martin Family Grant. The monies will go to support and expand three innovative Conservancy programs.
The first Conservancy project to be expanded will be the Rainbow Trout Improvement Project that seeks to restore the genetically superior strain of trout that once populated the river. Fifty years ago the Kings River was rated as one of the 'best ten trout rivers in the Western United States'. $75,000 will go to fully improving the fish incubating facility strategically located just downstream of Pine Flat Dam. Additional funds will support the project at $15,000 per year over a five year period. This will allow for the selection and purchase of trout eggs with the goal of eventually producing the most adaptive, best suited eggs for the Kings River.
"We are excited about this generous gift," said board member Hank Urbach. "The Conservancy has always supported the Kings River Fisheries Management Program and we are gratified that the Ted Martin Family shares this vision. This is the best example of a partnership to benefit the river and fishery for all users."
Another $62,500 will be used for the creation of an Invasive Species Removal Program along the Kings River to restore the riparian habitat. As is the case with almost all western rivers, the Kings Corridor contains a variety of invasive species that alters the habitat along the river. The first part of the project will be to remove an estimated 25 acres of invasive species. To insure the effectiveness of the project once the removal is complete, another $25,000 will be donated over a two year period for maintenance and spraying.
Finally, the Martin Family will contribute, on a 2 to 1 ratio of the money raised by the Conservancy, to augment the Frank Jones Memorial Warden Enforcement Fund. This will go a long way to help the Conservancy reach its goal of funding the program at a consistent level of $12,500 per year.
On hearing of the grant award, Conservancy Vice President John Gray commented, "This is the first major private grant received by the Conservancy and it will complement past grants received from several public and governmental agencies. Ted Martin has long supported the rivers of the area and this grant will continue that legacy and allow us the privilege of helping to fulfill the Martin Family desire to preserve and protect the Kings River."