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Donor Spotlight: Barb Forderhase

Prior to her recent retirement, Barb Forderhase could be found in classrooms throughout the Treasure Valley. With live raptor ambassadors by her side, Barb shared the excitement of birds of prey with thousands of young students.

A swainson's hawk with spread wings sits majestically on Barb's raised hand. Barb is wearing a falconry glove
Barb works with one of her raptor ambassadors, a Swainson’s Hawk.

“It always touched me when a child would come up after a presentation and say in whispered awe, “I’ve never seen an owl before!”, explained Barb.

Barb Forderhase stands at the front of a classroom of students. She's pointing to a powerpoint screen with a photo of a chickadee
Barb Forderhase visits her Bird by Bird classroom. Photo Credit: Bird by Bird program 2021

For 13 years Barb worked for the Bureau of Land Management’s Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area as the raptor education specialist. Her work made a huge impact on children and adults in the Treasure Valley through school visits, raptor identification classes/field trips, and spring hikes.

a group of kindergarten age kids sit next to each other on a log. Each child has binoculars raised looking up at something off camera

Through Idaho Fish and Game’s Bird by Bird Program, Barb often chaperoned Idaho’s school children who learn about bird conservation at IBO’s Diane Moore Nature Center. In retirement Barb continues to work with these programs to enlighten youth about Idaho’s amazing wildlife.

Barb shared, “What I like the most about IBO’s education programming is the opportunity for students to have hands-on experiences: seeing live birds up close, getting to release a live bird, learning about birds, migration, and the importance of habitat, and getting to see how science works. In addition, some students learn better in this type of setting.”

“I think it is our responsibility as adults to expose children to knowledge and to experiences that they might not get through their parents or extended family”, Barb added.

So when Barb reached out to the IBO about supporting its education and conservation programs, it seemed like a natural fit. After talking with IBO director, Greg Kaltenecker, and development director, Melanie Bannister, and exploring multiple options, Barb decided to make a gift that excites her and meets her goals to offer long-term support for IBO’s programs. She found the process to be very easy.

a brown and white raptor in mid-air with its wings and tail spread open, that was just released by two small children with the help of a scientist who is kneeling on the ground
Students release a raptor with the help of IBO scientist Emma Regnier. Photo Credit: Craig Wheeler


Barb wanted to make an impactful gift that will ensure IBO’s outreach and education programs will be able to continue providing quality conservation education for years to come.

Barb wished to contribute to IBO’s education mission immediately, but she also thought about how to grow the impact of her gift in the future. Barb provided a gift through her will that will enhance her newly endowed fund at a time when she no longer needs the money. And so, the Barbara L. Forderhase IBO Education Fund was “hatched”!

Through her endowed fund, Barb will provide the IBO’s education program with stability for the future.

By adding to the Barbara L. Forderhase IBO Education Fund annually, pledging a contribution from her estate, and inviting others to participate, the impact of the fund will continue to grow.

a young boy stands with his mother and holds his hand out as IBO education director Heidi Ware Carlisle places a Bewick's Wren on his palm
A young visitor releases a Bewick’s Wren at the Diane Moore Nature Center. Photo Credit: Brian Martin

Many people share similar values of educating and exposing children to their natural environment. Gifts of any size to build this endowment are welcome and encouraged. Each gift is a permanent investment in IBO’s long-term ability to educate kids and adults alike.

six small children stand looking at Heather as she holds out an owl wing against tree bark
Heather Hayes and Pre-K students from Roots Forest School observe an owl wing, which is well camouflaged against the tree bark

The Diane and Winston Moore Family Endowment was the seed that allowed IBO to grow into what it is today. The stability it offered allowed the organization to grow from only one full-time staff member to seven over just a handful of years. IBO staff can’t wait to see what this new education fund will enable IBO to do!

Barb Forderhase stands in front of the Bechler River in Yellowstone National Park
Barb looks forward to leaving a legacy for environmental education in Idaho

Until now IBO’s outreach programming has relied solely on annual contributions from supporters. The Barbara L. Forderhase IBO Education Fund will move the IBO closer to the goal of a dependable source of funding for IBO’s outreach staff and program needs.

“This type of education often gets pushed to the side, and securing funding can be difficult. This fund will ensure that resources for IBO’s education program will be available, and the fund will grow over time.” –Barb Forderhase

To make a gift to the Barbara L. Forderhase IBO Education Fund, visit IBO’s giving page and select “Barbara L. Forderhase IBO Endowed Education Fund” or mail a check to the Boise State University Foundation at:

Boise State University Foundation
Fund AE050
1173 W University Ave
Boise, ID 83706.

To explore options for a planned gift, contact Sr. Director of Development, Melanie Bannister, at