Remembering ESLT Landowner, Dr. Tom McAfee

Dr. Tom McAfee, pictured here with his sister, Cheyenne McAfee, at ESLT's Lowery Conservation Easement in 2005 Loyal friend and supporter of ESLT, and will be missed by the land conservation community.

Dr. Tom McAfee, pictured here with his sister, Cheyenne McAfee, at ESLT’s Lowery Conservation Easement in 2005. A dear friend and supporter of ESLT, Tom will be missed by the ESLT community.

Our organization was saddened to learn of the loss of one of ESLT’s conservation easement landowners and earliest supporters, Dr. Tom McAfee. An avid traveler, Dr. McAfee passed away unexpectedly while on safari in Africa at Tarangire National Park in Tanzania.

Dr. McAfee had been a loyal friend of ESLT since we first began our work in 2001. Back when ESLT was a young, volunteer-led organization pursuing our first projects, Dr. McAfee had the trust and vision to work with us. Teaming up with his sisters, Skyli and Cheyenne McAfee, he approached us about donating an easement on his property in Swall Meadows to preserve the important wildlife habitat located there. Just one week after our very first easement (donated by ESLT co-founders Stephen Ingram and Karen Ferrell-Ingram) was officially created in December of 2003, the 5-acre McAfee Conservation Easement was preserved as well.

Sunset on Sinnamon Meadows

Mule Deer travel through Swall Meadows every year as they move between Round Valley and the High Sierra. The McAfee Conservation Easement is an important part of their migration corridor.

Expanded to 15 acres in 2007, the McAfee Conservation Easement provides a key link in the migration corridor for the Round Valley Mule Deer herd, an important focus of our organization. Since completing those first two easements, ESLT has worked with private landowners in the migration corridor to secure a total of seven conservation projects so far. Spanning 269 acres, these preserved lands guarantee a safe route of passage for the deer as they move from the valley up into the High Sierra and back every year.

Tom’s trust in ESLT’s founding members and mission attested to his deep commitment to conservation. “It meant so much to our efforts that he had faith in the easement process and took that permanent step with us in 2003 when we were still brand new,” says ESLT landowner, co-founder, and former ESLT Executive Director, Karen Ferrell-Ingram. “He was also a smart, caring and funny person who was a joy to be around.  It is a big loss in many ways.”

After more than eleven years with UC San Diego, Dr. McAfee was set to start as chief executive of the newly-formed Keck Medicine of USC Medical Foundation upon his return.

To learn more about his legacy, read the full news release here.