EarthConcerns: Our Story

The International Center for Earth Concerns (ICEC) was founded in 1994 when visionary leader John Hoyt, then Executive Director of the Humane Society of the United States, served as ICEC's founding President.

Over the years ICEC's programs have included innovative hands-on education, assistance of services and infrastructure for communities in need, restoration of historical buildings, and of course, above all, the protection and conservation of wildlife and wild lands.


Melody Taft receives Masai honor for her work.


The Center in Lakeview, Montana.


John Taft with Kenyan student.


View of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, with Mt. Kenya towering in background.


Zebras grazing at Lewa.

Geographically, the Center's activities have been widespread, spanning open spaces as far-reaching as California and Montana in North America to the land conservancies and communities of Kenya.

Today the Center is headed by lifelong naturalists and philanthropists Melody and John Taft, who have been saving Africa's wildlife since 1986. Many noted conservationists have served and continue to serve on the ICEC Board of Directors.

Current Projects

Currently, the Center has adopted Lewa Wildlife Conservancy as a vital project to save 60,000 acres of prime wildlife habitat and the creatures that live in it. To further that effort, it has been the Center's mission to provide vital education resources and infrastructure to Lewa's adjoining communities and beyond. ICEC builds modern schools and clincs as well as teacher housing, pays teacher and health-care workers' salaries, installs fresh-water systems, and provides scholarships to needy children of all grade levels.

Educating and supporting Kenya - especially its youth - is the only solution to saving its national treasure and #1 economic producer: its wildlife and wild lands.

Our Home

The Center is located in the Centennial Valley in the small mountain community of Lakeview, Montana. Nearby are the foothills of the Continental Divide. The Center is surrounded by the Beaverhead National Forest and Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge.

The Centennial Valley consists of 385,000 acres - 285,000 acres of public lands which include the 45,000-acre Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge and 26,000 acres in the Centennial Mountains. Approximately 100,000 acres on the valley floor are in private ownership, with 90 percent of the land controlled by 15 ranches.

We are currently seeking Letters of Interest
from organizations interested in utilizing the
Center for educational and research purposes:

Our facilities include sleeping accommodations for up to twenty-four including utilities, a fully-equipped kitchen, study corrals, laundry and recreational facilities. Please download more information here: Lakeview Request for Letters of Interest  (Rich-text format). Learn more about Centennial Valley lodging here: Elk Lake Resort and J Bar L Ranch (owned by Peggy Dulaney).

The physical surroundings of ICEC are an exquisite co-creation of breath-taking natural beauty and careful human design intended to provide a place that surrounds, supports, and sustains our connection to animals, the environment, and our lives.

Our Future

As we continue to expand our work abroad, we also strive to develop our historic home in Lakeview, Montana. While countless pioneers crossed this land in their westward march, a few hearty trailblazers built their lives here working the land, raising families, and realizing their dreams.

History abounds. We are in the process of restoring and recreating buildings that still exist here from the time of the early settlers. We are developing a museum to showcase the history of those early pioneers of the Centennial Valley. Along with the growth of the Center, we intend to host environmental researchers, artists, students and volunteers on our grounds to visit, study and fulfill our common goals.

The heart of the Center is held by the people who continually dream a vision into being - the founders, directors, staff and volunteers who welcome and care for all who are fortunate enough to visit this oasis for the soul.

 

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The International Center for Earth Concerns is classified as a Section 501(c)3 organization (see documentation) under the United States Internal Revenue Code and is recognized as a private foundation as described in Section 509(a)1 of the Code. The Foundation is established by a Trust under the laws of the District of Columbia. Individuals, corporations, associations and foundations are eligible to support the work of the Center through tax-deductible gifts.

 

2008 The International Center for Earth Concerns