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Planned Giving and IBO: Denise Hughes

By Greg Kaltenecker

Intermountain Bird Observatory (IBO) supporter, Denise Hughes, loves all wildlife but began birding around 1997 after moving to Idaho from southern California. She remembers one of the first birds she identified in her yard: it was a White-breasted Nuthatch. Golden Eagle Audubon Society and the Southwest Idaho Birders Association welcomed her and she began going on outings with these local groups.

“I had never met a nicer group of people,” Denise said. “There’s just something special about birders!”

Denise began visiting Lucky Peak on organized tours in the late 1990’s and has since spent countless hours there.

Denise Hughes getting ready for a raptor release from the top of Lucky Peak. Photo by Lucky Peak Crew

“I was always drawn to Lucky Peak,” Denise maintains. “To be able to see those birds up close and in the hand is really special.”

Denise has always loved the kinds of experiences that IBO provides to children. She feels strongly that IBO is on the right track and agrees with our mission of providing children with those “Discovery of Nature” experiences.

“Kids just aren’t exposed to anything like that anymore,” Denise said,  “and IBO will give kids something to light that spark for nature and the outdoors!”

Having worked almost her entire career for the state of Idaho, Denise has built a comfortable retirement nest egg through IRA and a 401K savings. About five years ago Denise began thinking about a planned gift for IBO. She decided to designate IBO as a 50 percent beneficiary of her retirement accounts. Denise maintains that she is by no means wealthy, but is so passionate about IBO’s work that she hopes her story will compel others to do the same.

“Others can do this, too,” she says, “even if it’s just a small percentage-every little bit helps”.

Please consider IBO in your estate planning. Visit the university’s planned giving website.

For more information on designating the IBO in your estate plans, please contact Greg Kaltenecker at (208) 426-4354 ( or Perrine Blakley at (208) 426-5196 (


This article is part of our 2019 end of the year newsletter! View the full newsletter here, or click “older posts” below to read the next article.