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MANDAN, N.D. -- Tesoro is providing a $50,000 grant to help restore the historic viewshed of President Theodore Roosevelt's Elkhorn Ranch. The USDA Forest Service recently acquired the largest remaining remnant of Roosevelt's North Dakota ranch, which is still in private ownership with the support of the Friends of the Elkhorn Ranch.
"Environmental stewardship is one of Tesoro's core values," said Alan Anderson, the company's Mandan refinery manager. "Our $50,000 grant supports a much-broader restoration program in the region where our employees work and live. We are proud to be part of the restoration that will impact such diverse wildlife populations, and play such an important role in the health of the prairie and the nation’s agricultural lands."
Friends of the Elkhorn Ranch announced on May 7 that the Forest Service would purchase the historic ranch as a result of a $500,000 challenge grant awarded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The grant ensured the purchase of the historic Elkhorn viewshed, the transfer of ownership to the Forest Service and the intent of the Friends of the Elkhorn Ranch to support future stewardship work on the land.
With Tesoro's contribution and others, the Friends have raised $880,000 toward its $1 million acquisition, restoration and stewardship funding goal.
The 5,200-acre historic viewshed, prized by Roosevelt for its beauty and lamented for its loss of big game in the 1880s, is now managed as part of the Dakota Prairie Grasslands. The Forest Service is evaluating restoration and management plans on important wildlife feeding, nesting and breeding areas, migratory wildlife corridors, and the encroachment of invasive plants along the Little Missouri River and its tributaries.
The Elkhorn is also recognized as prime habitat for North Dakota's rebounding population of North American wild sheep, whose population statewide has nearly doubled to 300 with 16 herds since 1999.
San Antonio-based Tesoro Corp., a Fortune 150 company, is an independent refiner and marketer of petroleum products. Its retail-marketing system includes more than 880 branded retail stations, more than 460 of which are company-owned locations.