Photo essay: Range riding in the Centennial Valley, Tom Miner Basin

National Geographic Young Explorer Louise Johns partnered with us to document range riding on two of Greater Yellowstone's working landscapes: southwest Montana’s Centennial Valley, and the Tom Miner Basin just north of Yellowstone National Park.

Both increasing the presence of humans on the land, and keeping cattle gathered to reignite their herd instincts help make livestock less vulnerable to grizzly bears and wolves. Range riding is one of many tools some ranchers are using to keep their businesses thriving while co-existing with predators like grizzly bears and wolves. Louise's photo essay shows what these efforts look like on the ground.

 A range rider checks on a herd of cow/calf pairs in the Centennial Valley. Range riding, a tool used to mitigate livestock loss due to predation, is the human presence on the landscape at dawn and dusk employed during the summer grazing months. The primary duties of a range rider include tracking predators on the landscape, riding through cattle daily to look for sick or injured animals, looking for carcasses, and communicating findings to ranchers and landowners. Range riders may also help ranchers and livestock managers gather and move herds of cattle.   

A range rider checks on a herd of cow/calf pairs in the Centennial Valley. Range riding, a tool used to mitigate livestock loss due to predation, is the human presence on the landscape at dawn and dusk employed during the summer grazing months. The primary duties of a range rider include tracking predators on the landscape, riding through cattle daily to look for sick or injured animals, looking for carcasses, and communicating findings to ranchers and landowners. Range riders may also help ranchers and livestock managers gather and move herds of cattle.  

Louise's video demonstrates how range riding benefits safety, agriculture, and wildlife.

Greater Yellowstone Coalition supports ranchers' creative efforts to not only keep their cows safe, but to keep wildlife alive. We've contributed $37,000 towards range riding projects in these two areas. Thank you for supporting our work!

-- Shana Drimal, Wildlife Program Associate