TAWNEY OPPORTUNITY GRANTS
A founding board member of the Cinnabar Foundation, Phil Tawney, without question, was one of Montana’s most dedicated conservation activists. If anything characterized Phil, it was an eagerness to take on any evil no matter how daunting the challenge. Whether an issue concerned trout streams, wildlife habitat, wild land protection, or environmental quality, Phil never would focus on the problem — only the possibility buried in its solution. Montana and the cause of conservation suffered a severe setback when leukemia claimed Phil in 1995. The following year, the Board of Directors created the Tawney Opportunity Grant program to honor Phil’s service and sustain his memory.
Cinnabar annually sets aside funds to help organizations meet unpredictable challenges or seize opportunities that, while consistent with the Foundation’s goals, arise outside the Foundation’s regular granting cycle. These Tawney Opportunity grants provide unanticipated bursts of enabling energy — just as Phil did.
Since 1996, Cinnabar has issued 36 Tawney Opportunity Grants to address a variety of issues, including: arguments before the Montana Supreme Court protecting the initiative process and our right to a clean environment; challenges to prospecting for gold on the Blackfoot River; defending withdrawal of the Rocky Mountain Front from oil and gas leasing; and protecting roadless wild lands. With a quarter century of experience, Cinnabar has experienced the joy of being able to help and the excitement of knowing more opportunities await.