The National Wildlife Federation’s Adopt-An-Acre Project reached an important milestone this past year when we passed the 600,000 mark for the number of “conflict” acres retired. That’s an area more than twice the size of Grand Teton National Park!
This project started in 2002 and has grown steadily since. An early project objective was grizzly bear conservation, as grizzly bear/livestock conflicts on public land grazing allotments adjacent to Yellowstone National Park were causing the killing or relocation of significant numbers of bears. One of the worst problem areas was the west side of the Teton Range, where grizzlies were constantly in conflict with domestic sheep. NWF has successfully retired all of the sheep allotments in this area, providing bears with tens of thousands of acres of secure habitat.
Another focal point of Adopt-A-Wildlife-Acre has been providing winter range for bison that leave Yellowstone Park in harsh winters. Because of fears about disease transmittal, bison were killed by the hundreds when they left the park. But key NWF retirements of livestock allotments near Gardiner and West Yellowstone (Montana) have created room for bison to roam.
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