February 27, 2008
Great Falls, Mont., Family Receives Elk Foundation’s Highest Honor
MISSOULA, Mont.—A Great Falls, Mont., family has received the highest honor given by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
The Lewis family—Tom, Debbie and daughter Annie—has been recognized with the Wallace Fennell Pate Wildlife Conservation Award. The Elk Foundation gives the award to those who have made contributions of lasting significance to the benefit of elk, other wildlife and their habitat across North America.
The Lewises were honored during the organization’s annual convention, which concluded Feb. 24 in Reno.
“Wallace Fennell Pate was known for his integrity and tenacity. When I think about the Lewis family and their commitment to the Elk Foundation, those same two words—integrity and tenacity—are exactly what comes to mind,” said Cheryl Haralson, a past board member from Arkansas who presented the award alongside her husband, Bert.
Tom and Debbie are longtime members of the Elk Foundation. Debbie chaired the Great Falls chapter and served on a national conservation education committee. Tom was a national director and currently serves on the board of the Elk Foundation’s Double H Ranch, also known as the Torstenson Family Wildlife Center. Annie is a donor, volunteer and past competitor in World Elk Calling Championships. All three family members are now Life Members and Habitat Partners. In 2007, they donated a conservation easement on their ranch, permanently protecting it from future development.
“Tom is a tremendous lawyer and his legal expertise and his passion for land protection have made him invaluable to the Elk Foundation,” added Haralson.
Wallace Fennell Pate, the Elk Foundation’s first president and chairman of the board, dedicated his time, energy and financial resources to the betterment of wildlife in North America. Pate, now deceased, became a national role model for groups or individuals concerned with natural resources conservation.