Richard ‘Rich’ Alan Forrest


A man who lived by the motto, “no risk, no reward”.

Richard Alan Forrest, 73, lost his life on Jan. 11, 2022, at UC Health Memorial Central in Colorado Springs, Colo., after a brief battle with gallstone pancreatitis.

Rich was born Feb. 9, 1948, in Queens, NY to Richard and Anna Forrest. He was the youngest of two children. In early childhood, Rich and his family relocated to Torrance, Calif., where he went on to graduate from high school in 1965 (one year ahead of schedule).

Rich went on to Colorado College in Colorado Springs and graduated with a double major in theology and geology. Rich then attended the University of Montana, Butte (also known as Montana Tech) and obtained his master’s degree in Geology.

Rich spent many years as an active geologist in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Colorado, Argentina, and Chilè, to name a few. He was also a founder of a joint venture mining company, Horizon Gold.

In 1990, Rich met his late wife Jan after placing a personal ad in the Evergreen newspaper. Rich and Jan purchased their first elk in the early 90’s. Eventually the couple procured a ranch in 1997 in Del Norte, Colo. By 2001, the ranch housed over 450 elk and a small elk meat store.

In 2001, the ranch experienced a positive chronic wasting disease (CWD) case from an animal that had been purchased from northern Colorado. Many people would fail at this point, but it lit a new fire in Rich. He went on to be a strong and influential advocate in the elk industry regarding government regulations and CWD testing.

Rich also served on various boards for the North American Elk Breeders Association and the Colorado Elk and Game Breeders Association.

With the couple’s entrepreneurial drive undiminished, Jan and Rich grew their meat production. At one point they had the largest elk meat distribution business in the United States. Always looking for new opportunities, they were among the pioneers in the antler chew business.

In 2013, Jan passed away from cancer.

Rich was alone for a time but met his new wife Sandy in 2018. Their time together was precious but cut short. With her, Rich was happy.

Rich is survived by his wife Sandy; daughters Elaina Forrest of South Fork, Colo., and Christina (Shawn) Beach of Seattle, Wash.; stepdaughters, Morgan (Jeremiah) Cummons of the home/ranch, Jessica (Kelly) Knowles of Genesee, Colo., and Sandy’s children. He is also survived by his sister Carol Baum and her daughter Jennifer of Torrance, Calif., as well as his grandchildren: Alyssa, Alex, Ethan, and Natalie.

Rich was preceded in death by his late wife, Jan and his parents, Richard and Anna Forrest.

A celebration of life will be held at the family elk ranch on March 19 at 2 p.m. The ranch is located at 19612 US Hwy 160, Del Norte, Colo. Food will be served following the service. Please come and share memories of Rich.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to the “Fund for CJD Research”.  Rich and its founder, Dr. Bastian, were working together to raise funds for a live-animal CWD test that is being developed. Donations can be sent in honor of Rich to: 1132 Periston St., New Orleans, LA 70115.

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