As Wyoming State Director for The Conservation Fund, Luke Lynch led several projects to conserve open spaces, including critical wildlife habitat and migration corridors on large swaths of private land in western Wyoming. He helped create the Carney Ranch conservation easement, which ensured lands would remain open through a critical bottleneck area in the famous Grand Teton National Park to Upper Green River Basin pronghorn migration corridor, and the Rolling Thunder Ranch conservation easement, which protected important elk calving areas and moose habitat from being divided and developed. This year, under his leadership, The Conservation Fund entered a contract to purchase and protect an essential 364-acre property where, each spring and fall, 5,000 mule deer swim the outlet of Fremont Lake near Pinedale, Wyoming, as part of their migration between the Hoback Basin and the Red Desert. The impact of his quiet work behind the scenes is evident across the state, where worked for wide-open country, free-ranging wild animals, and intact working landscapes.
On May 17, 2015, Lynch was killed by an avalanche while skiing in Grand Teton National Park. He is survived by his parents, his wife, and their three young sons. Western Confluence magazine and the Ruckelshaus Institute, to which Lynch served as a senior advisor, join the conservation community in the West in mourning the loss of this spirited and dedicated open spaces advocate, and thank Luke for his legacy of protected landscapes to be enjoyed by generations to come.
The Conservation Fund continues to raise money for the $2.1 million Fremont Lake acquisition that will maintain the Red Desert to Hoback mule deer migration corridor. To contribute, contact Danielle Casavant, Senior Major Gifts Officer for the Conservation Fund, at firstname.lastname@example.org.