Vital Ground is taking action to facilitate the recovery of grizzly bear populations in the Cabinet-Purcell mountain region in northwestern Montana and to reverse loss of habitat by purchasing biologically important tracts of private land. In December 2010, Vital Ground executed two purchase options on private lands. Both properties, one near the Yaak River/Kootenai River confluence (Yaak Mountain Property) and another near the Bull River/Clark Fork River confluence (Rice Draw Property) were identified as key linkage zones, or areas where wildlife move between core habitat areas.
Throughout 2011, Vital Ground and its partners placed great efforts in fundraising in order to purchase these two critical properties by year-end. Thanks to generous donations, Vital Ground raised enough money to purchase the Yaak Mountain Property. We weren’t able to raise the necessary $1.15 million by December 15, 2011 to purchase the second project, the Rice Draw Property, but in 2012 we will be refocusing our efforts on the U.S. Highway 2 linkage corridor and launching habitat restoration on the Yaak Mountain Property.
Achievements in 2011:
In July 2011, Vital Ground acquired its first property under Phase I of the Cabinet-Purcell Wildlife Linkage Initiative. A 70-acre parcel located at the base of Yaak Mountain near the town of Troy, Montana, the Yaak Mountain Property parallels the Kootenai River and U.S. Highway 2. The property will now be permanently protected and will provide a safe link for grizzlies roaming over Yaak Mountain into other National Forest lands across the highway and river.
Goals for 2012:
In 2012, we will raise funds ($30,000) for launching a comprehensive habitat restoration project on the Yaak Mountain Property, which is aimed at benefiting grizzlies as well as other wildlife. In addition to its linkage potential, the property also provides low elevation, seasonal habitat for deer, elk, moose and other wildlife species. Restoration will include treating noxious weeds, replanting native vegetation and removing abandoned structures.
Throughout the year we will also be refocusing our efforts on the U.S. Highway 2 linkage corridor. We are identifying potential linkage opportunities fitting our habitat conservation goals in the general area of the Yaak Mountain Property.
We are currently requesting help from our donors and supporters to raise the $30,000 needed to complete habitat restoration on the Yaak Mountain Property. If you have any specific ideas on how we can reach our fundraising goal, please contact Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your support!