Keta Legacy Foundation and The Mountaineers are happy to share the good news that we have reached a settlement agreement to resolve a legal dispute between the two organizations, dating back to November 2019. The settlement agreement allows both organizations to move past this dispute, focus on our respective missions, and get back to working together on shared goals at our adjacent properties in Kitsap County.

The Mountaineers and Keta Legacy Foundation have both agreed to dismiss legal claims against one another and neither party will use the name “Mountaineers Foundation” in the future. We have also committed that any donations or bequests received naming “Mountaineers Foundation” as the beneficiary will be evaluated by leadership of each organization. Keta Legacy Foundation and The Mountaineers have defined a collaborative process to determine the donor’s intent and best honor the gift. Honoring the wishes of donors is an important shared value of both organizations, and we are committed to working together on this process. Details of this process is available here for the benefit of donors, estate attorneys/executors, or other interested parties. If you have named the Mountaineers Foundation in your estate, we urge you to clarify which of the two organizations you intend and to update the beneficiary information in your documents.

The Mountaineers and Keta Legacy Foundation have also agreed on next steps to ensure continued access and use at one another’s properties in Kitsap County. This will ensure Keta Legacy Foundation is able to continue offering activities such as environmental educational programs and stewardship of the Rhododendron Preserve to protect sensitive salmon habitat. For its part, The Mountaineers will be able to continue programs such as its theatrical productions at Kitsap Forest Theater and summer youth camps on its properties. Keta Legacy Foundation and The Mountaineers have been longstanding neighbors in Kitsap County, and our agreement positions the organizations to continue supporting one another’s missions and programs for decades to come.

The Mountaineers and Keta Legacy Foundation are grateful to their communities for being patient and understanding as we worked to achieve this outcome. While we’re not able to share any further details about the settlement agreement, we are confident that we’ve reached the best possible outcome for both organizations that allows us to refocus our efforts and resources on our mission and impact.

Best regards,

Jeff Wirtz, President – Keta Legacy Foundation
Gabe Aeschliman, President – The Mountaineers