The Free Roaming Equids and Ecosystem Sustainability Network (FREES) is a network of diverse organizations working for a common goal of "healthy herds of free-roaming equids on healthy rangelands." FREES seeks to enhance communication and engage diverse stakeholder groups in meaningful dialogue as they work to achieve equid and ecosystem sustainability. . The FREES Network Endowment (Endowment) is being established in the Quinney College of Natural Resources (QCNR) at Utah State University (USU) with gifts from donors.
The Free-roaming Equid and Ecosystem Sustainability Network (FREES) is committed to facilitating open dialogue and building positive relationships that engage the partners in collective actions to that ensure the health of free-roaming equids (i.e., wild horses and burros), western rangeland ecosystem health and sustainability and the principles of multiple-use. All FREES participants share the responsibility to engage all others in a respectful manner. All FREES participants are thus encouraged to seek opportunities to work with others who might have different perspectives or experience regarding the management of free-roaming equids and lands they inhabit. FREES success and the effectiveness of all activities, such as the working groups and Summits, will require participants to recognizing their personal biases, and not allow these bias to pervade open dialogue, and we collectively seek novel approaches to the resolution of this complicated issue . Participation in FREES is open to all as long as those choosing to participate adhere to these principles.
All gifts made to support the FREES Endowment through the USU Foundation are tax deductible. By letter dated May 21, 2008, the Internal Revenue Service has declared the USU Foundation (federal tax identification number 87-0627128), to be a duly qualified charitable organization under section 501(c)(3) and also an organization described in sections 509(a)(1) and 170(b)(1)(A)(iv) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation is a duly chartered active Utah nonprofit corporation, under the provision of Utah Code, Title 16, Chapter 6a.
The Endowment will exist in perpetuity. If circumstances arise that render the stated purpose of the Endowment (as set forth herein) illegal, impractical, impossible, or wasteful (e.g., a change in law, the elimination of a USU program, position, or course of study, the persistent unavailability of scholarship recipients that meet the criteria, etc.); then, as set forth in the Solicitation, under such circumstances and in keeping with Utah Code 51-8-501(1), USU may designate a new use for the Endowment. Any such new purpose shall be defined by USU’s President and the QCNR Dean. If the minimum endowment level of $25,000 is not reached by 01/30/2025, then the fund balance will be assessed by the USU Foundation Board to determine if feasible to continue raising funds for the Endowment or to repurpose the existing balance into an expendable fund.
Endowment Investment. Upon its establishment, the Endowment shall be deposited and invested by the Board of Trustees of USU, through the USU Investment Advisory Committee in accordance with USU’s investment policy. The USU Foundation is the legal entity designated by USU to receive charitable gifts in support of its academic mission.
Endowment Distributions. Distributions from the Endowment shall be governed by USU’s Endowment Spending Policy. The spending policy calls for an annual distribution up to 5% (currently set at 4%) of the value of the endowment account to be expended per the MOU. An additional 1.5% of the endowment value shall be used to fund the administration of the endowment and USU advancement efforts. All additional gains shall be retained as appreciation and invested along with the corpus to grow the value of the Endowment over time.
Seventy-five percent (75%) of each gift will be used to build the Endowment. The income of the Endowment will be used to support the FREES Network operations, work groups, outreach efforts, and summits in perpetuity to actively engage diverse stakeholder groups in meaningful dialogue to achieve the mutual goal of healthy herds on healthy rangelands. Twenty-five percent (25%) of each gift will held in a spendable account to support immediate FREES operations as identified above.