WCS Community Partnerships
The Wildlife Conservation Society's Community Partnerships Program in Ennis, Montana conserves wildlife and habitat by fostering community participation in conservation and building ground-up approaches to meet today's conservation challenges. We work closely with our local partners to build awareness and more informed and engaged communities, showcasing win-win strategies for people and wildlife that share an increasingly crowded landscape.
Human-bear conflicts in Big Sky, MT have increased dramatically over the last 20 years, with a 5 fold increase in relocations and a 16 fold increase in lethal removals of black bears. WCS brings experience in human-wildlife conflict resolution to the table to help this locally-led initiative reduce alarming trends in conflict rates. We focus on removing attractants and building awareness of the community's role in promoting positive interactions with wildlife.
Carcasses, whether they’re livestock or roadkill, attract carnivores and scavengers to places where they interact with people, which can have negative consequences for both. WCS has convened leaders in the region to build collaborative carcass composting and pick-up programs to serve rural valleys in Southwest Montana.
Each year, over 9,000 ungulates spend their winters in the Madison Valley and are faced with the task of moving safely across a landscape crisscrossed with fences on ranches and subdivisions. Wildlife friendly fencing replaces traditional barbed wire fences with alternatives that enable wildlife to move more freely across the land. With support from a diverse group of partners, WCS is building a valley-wide project that installs wildlife friendly fencing in high priority areas.
People often hear about big, charismatic wildlife, which can be controversial at times, but many lesser known and elusive species also live here in the High Divide. WCS initiated a speaker series in 2013 to engage community members and share information about our wildlife neighbors. In 2017, as a large partnership of 14 organizations, we are celebrating our 5th season of the Annual Wildlife Speaker Series.
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