Scanning for wolves and bears outside Grand Teton
For nearly 20 years, National Wildlife Federation has been working to reduce conflicts between wildlife and livestock grazing on public lands across the West. To date, NWF has eliminated conflicts on over 1.5 million acres of public lands, creating safe havens for grizzly bears, wolves, bison and bighorn sheep. Paying ranchers to give up their grazing permits recognizes the economic value of livestock grazing and provides financial opportunity to move their livestock to areas of far less conflict. A win for ranchers. A win for wildlife. And a win for long-term conservation of public lands. Through the support of individual donors, we have created new opportunity for wildlife to thrive. At $4/acre grazing retirements have proven to be a cost effective means at reducing conflict on the landscape. For example, a $50 donation can fund approximately 12 acres of conflict-free habitat.
While we have achieved tremendous wins for wildlife, we still have much work to do. Conflicts between bears and wolves predating on livestock remains one of the primary causes of mortality for these animals. To further protect these animals it is critical that we address key conflict areas. In Montana we are actively negotiating several key grazing agreements that would protect over 50,000 additional acres, allowing grizzly bears and wolves to exist on the landscape without conflicts. We have two upcoming opportunities in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem to protect bears and wolves and an additional opportunity adjacent to Glacier National Park.
The National Wildlife Federation is successful because we spend time developing the long-term relationships and trust with ranchers and state and federal agencies that are key to making long-term changes on the land. In addition to our work in the Northern Rockies, we continue to work in Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Wyoming developing agreements with domestic sheep operations that are limiting the ability of wild bighorn sheep to expand their populations because disease spread from domestic sheep. We are looking forward to a successful 2020 and we owe much of this to the continued support of our donors. Thank you!
A Griz emerging in Yellowstone (credit Jim Peaco)