NWF’s Adopt-A-Wildlife-Acre Program has seen incredible success since its launch. To date, the program has succeeded in retiring more than 620,000 acres of vital wildlife habitat, securing safe areas for wildlife to roam. This includes more than 566,000 acres in the Yellowstone National Park Region, which was the initial starting point of the program.
Recent highlights include retiring 2,000-acre Bull and Bay Pasture on Montana’s Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge, 10,000 acre Wapiti allotment in Montana’s Gallatin National Forest and 45,000 acres on the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern Montana.
In coordination with federal land managers, NWF negotiates with livestock producers to retire livestock grazing allotments on public lands that experience chronic conflict with wildlife, especially wolves and grizzly bears. This market approach recognizes the economic value of livestock grazing permits and fairly compensates producers for retiring their leases. It also addresses the economic imbalance that exists because wildlife conservation interests are not allowed to compete with livestock producers for grazing leases on public lands. This approach establishes an important new national model for resolving conflicts between livestock and wildlife.
The efforts of Adopt-A-Wildlife-Acre are on-going to retire more acreage across the region in the effort to give wildlife the opportunity to roam and thrive in their native habitat.