As the tranquilized moose snored away, GYC Wildlife Program Coordinator Chris Colligan supported her massive head and monitored her breathing while she was fitted with a new GPS-tracking collar. A former Wyoming Game and Fish (WGFD) employee, Chris is no stranger to working with wild animals. What is relatively new to Chris is all the progress being made to incorporate wildlife crossings on roads around the state of Wyoming and beyond.
The Greater Yellowstone Coalition is committed to visiting with the ranchers of the Ruby Valley to hear their stories, focusing on their livestock and carnivore encounters. While we know that grizzlies are expanding and ranchers are in their path, we don’t know what’s happening on the ground. Montana Conservation Coordinator Darcie Warden and I are leading the charge to lend an ear and learn about what ranchers and their employees need to live and thrive on the landscape with grizzly bears.
After years of hard work and collaboration, the Wyoming Department of Transportation has finally released a license plate that benefits wildlife migrations and driver safety. The majority of the license plate fee goes directly to the Wildlife Conservation Fund to aid efforts throughout the state.
As the popularity of winter recreation continues to expand across the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem it is up to us to recreate responsibly. Fortunately it isn’t very hard to help give wildlife a chance to endure in winter. By staying out of established Habitat Protection Areas we avoid stressing animals, helping them conserve those critical fat reserves they are relying on through late April. These areas represent a small fraction of the overall terrain available to human recreationists, a small sacrifice for the future of the GYE.
While we had a very successful 2018, we’re looking even more forward to the endeavors of 2019. We’ll be wrapping up a few campaigns, diving deeper into some big projects, and keeping an eye out for new issues in the ecosystem that needs our attention. We asked our staff what they’re most excited for in the New Year and this is what they had to say.
(Photo Louise Johns.)