The Mountaineers Foundation is dedicated to passing the best possible environmental legacy to ensuing generations.
Working through our volunteer board, The Foundation serves those who are committed to the responsible stewardship and active enjoyment of the beauty and diversity of our natural resources.
The Foundation promotes the long view of stewardship by building and maintaining strong relationships with both donors and grantees based on mutual trust and openness.
The Mountaineers Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) organization.
Our Dual Purpose
The Rhododendron Preserve: An important part of our dual-purpose is owning and maintaining one important property: the 440-acre Rhododendron Preserve in Kitsap County.
Created to provide a refuge for people, native plants, and animals, the Preserve is a unique example of Puget Lowland old growth forest, home to one of the largest Chum salmon runs in the Puget Sound. The Preserve is open to the public and supports environmental and conservation educational experiences on the property.
For more information about the Preserve, please visit www.preserveoldgrowth.org.
Conservation Education Grant Funding: We also provide financial support for a wide range of conservation education projects that support our mission of environmental responsibility within the Salish Sea region.
In September 2013, Mountaineers Foundation received an extremely generous bequest from one of our founding members, Paul Wiseman. Mr. Wiseman wished his legacy to support conservation education projects the Foundation deemed appropriate to our mission.
Here’s a complete list of grants awarded.
Visit our Donate page to find out how you can support us.
The Mountaineers Foundation maintains a General Fund which is used in a variety of ways to support the work of the Foundation and help manage the Rhododendron Preserve.
Paul Wiseman Conservation Education Fund
In September 2013, Mountaineers Foundation received an extremely generous bequest from one of our founding members, Paul Wiseman. Mr. Wiseman wished his legacy to support conservation education projects the Foundation deemed appropriate to our mission. Several times each year our Community Grants Screening Committee reviews and prioritizes grant applications and provides funding based on a number of factors outlined in our public grant guidelines. Funded programs have ranged from public classroom curriculum to community-focused, habitat-restoration communications and trainings.
The Foundation maintains dedicated or restricted funds, which allow donors to make contributions that will be used only in support of designated projects. Restricted funds are typically established to support projects that are important to the Foundation. Below is a listing of our present dedicated funds and their assigned purposes.
- Rhododendron Preserve Second Century Fund: dedicated to protecting and maintaining the Rhododendron Preserve
- Rhododendron Preserve Education Fund: supports educational programs that utilize the Rhododendron Preserve as a resource
- Property Acquisition Fund: supports land purchases for conservation and environmental protection and preservation
PO Box 5749
Bremerton, WA 98312-0583
Officers, Board, and Staff
Linda Anderson-Carnahan joined the Mountaineers Foundation Board of Directors in 2016 and is currently the Co-Chair of the Preserve Committee and an active member of the Education Committee. She is also a member of the Kitsap Branch of the Mountaineers and is the Chair of the Branch’s Climbing Committee.
Linda holds a Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in chemistry and biophysical environmental studies from Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin. She also holds a Master of Science degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where her thesis research focused on characterization of the byproducts of drinking water disinfection by ozonation.
She began her career in environmental science, policy and management in Atlanta in 1984 after working at the Centers for Disease Control. Over the last 33 years, Linda’s experience includes both staff and management positions in the areas of air and water quality, toxicity and risk assessment, pollution prevention, strategic planning, grants management, and the Puget Sound, Superfund and Brownfields programs.
Linda and her husband David live in Bremerton. Her interests include cycling, backpacking, sea kayaking, cross-country skiing, and mountaineering.
Jim Gates first volunteered at the Rhododendron Preserve in 2012, helping clean up Hidden Valley and removing invasive plants. He was immediately captivated by the old growth forest and the natural beauty of Lost and Wildcat Creeks. He sees the Preserve as an invaluable resource to the community, and was honored to accept an invitation to join the Foundation Board in early 2016. A construction project superintendent, Jim brings 30 years of construction skills to the restoration of Hidden Valley's natural beauty.
He is a member of the Mountaineers, and volunteers with their intermediate climbing committee, in addition to teaching new and less experienced climbing students to safely climb; with a focus of rock and glacier alpinism.
Jim's hobbies include reading, sports, running and alpinism. He is a lifelong resident of Washington and currently lives in Tacoma with his wife, son and daughter.
Rick Gillatt was raised on a 40 acre farm in Arizona. He currently resides on Bainbridge Island with his wife and two daughters. His education includes Kent School, a Bachelor's in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology with an emphasis in Marine Sciences from University of Arizona, and Sea Education Association, Woods Hole/Boston University.
Rick's career in ecology and biology has included work experience in plankton research, teaching, water chemistry, aquaculture research, marine animal care, seabird rehabilitation, and cattle farming. He has worked for New York Ocean Science Laboratory, Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corporation, and The Seattle Aquarium, to name just a few.In addition to being a member of the Mountaineers Foundation Board, Rick serves on the Property, Education, and Grants committees. He is also a wildlife care steward/educator with raptors at regional events and schools for the West Sound Wildlife Shelter, and conducts seasonal educational salmon programs at the Mountaineers Foundation Rhododendron Preserve.
Debbee Straub has served on the Foundation Board since the summer of 2016. A Leadership Kitsap Alumni, she has also served as a member of the WestSound Wildlife Shelter’s steering committee and helped establish 501(c)(3) status for the Hui Heihei Wa’a Outrigger Canoe Association. Debbee is a National Board certified educator, teaching math, science, and aviation.
A strong advocate of youth and community, she coaches, volunteers, and advises groups in the Central Kitsap School District. Currently Debbee is the head track coach and an advisor to the group GoGirlGo which she began 6 years ago, inspiring girls to reach their potential as leaders in the community. Since 2012, she has been the creator and leader of Family STEAM nights (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art/Aviation, Math), encouraging families to grow and be inspired by the STEM initiative.
Debbee holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and a Master of Science in Education.
Lorisa Watkins holds a B.A. in Environmental Planning and Policy with a minor in Environmental Science from Western Washington University, and has over 16 years of experience as a water quality professional. She has worked for the Department of Ecology’s Manchester Environmental Laboratory, Kitsap County Public Works Wastewater Department, and served West Sound Utility District (WSUD) as a laboratory analyst and non-formal public educator.
She has developed education outreach programs for the public, and volunteers for the South Kitsap Schools District as an advisor for Career and Technical Education and for the STEM Program.
A native Washingtonian, Lorisa is proud to call the Kitsap Peninsula her home, and feels fortunate to live 5 minutes away from the Rhododendron Preserve. She brings with her a spirit of service and a joy for helping students and community members understand environmental preservation.
Please feel free to contact us.