The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) believes the 1.1 million-acre Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge (CMR) in north-central Montana contains not only the best potential bison habitat in Montana, but anywhere in the United States. NWF's efforts to develop agreements with ranchers to refrain from grazing cattle on the refuge are a key piece of creating the available habitat for this wild-ranging species.
In June, 2012, Montana's Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks began a process to evaluate the prospect of restoring a wild bison population to their native prairie habitat. Public response was unprecedented. Read more about this recent story here. During the 60-day comment period the state received nearly 23,000 comments. This is higher response than for recent proposals regarding wolves and grizzly bears (no small feat!).
In addition to Yellowstone National Park, your gifts to our Adopt-A-Wildlife Acre program enable us to pursue historically significant conservation projects at incomparable wild places like CMR; a landscape and ecosystem that when fully restored has the potential of becoming the “American Serengeti.”
May 18, 2012
Adopt A Wildlife Acre Update Report
By Evelyn Furia - National Wildlife Federation
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.
Jan 16, 2012
Adopt A Wildlife Acre- Project Report
By Evelyn Furia - Senior Manager
The National Wildlife Federation’s latest grazing retirement to benefit wildlife is the 22,000-acre Willow Creek allotment, located on the Bridger-Teton National Forest in northwest Wyoming.
Willow Creek is an important wintering ground for elk, moose and mule deer and in recent years, has provided habitat for grizzly bears and wolves. Its steep, forested slopes lead to congregation of livestock along the major streams in the area, which has resulted in diminished vegetation along the waterways as well as increased sedimentation. State and federal agencies have voiced concern for the native cutthroat trout populations that inhabit Willow Creek and other streams in the allotment.
Like all NWF grazing retirements, this agreement was reached voluntarily with a willing seller, resolving a long-term wildlife/livestock conflict.