photo credit: nick franz

photo credit: nick franz

 

Why do this work?

 

Montana is home to a wide variety of charismatic wildlife species and wild lands that draw people to the area, resulting in more interactions between people and wildlife. Our close proximity to Yellowstone National Park increases the visibility of grizzly and wolf recovery programs and attracts a diverse array of viewpoints. As a result, these high profile species often dominate conversations about wildlife, impact support of conservation initiatives, and overshadow other species that maintain a lower profile but are equally fascinating.


 

Why does it matter?

 

No matter what your background, each of us is influenced by the wildlife and landscapes that make this region unique. Far too often, conversations about wildlife can be divisive and disconnect us from wildlife, leaving less time to be inspired by where we live and who we share the landscape with. The Wildlife Speaker Series provides a break from these conversations to sit back with our friends and neighbors and enjoy learning about some of our less controversial wildlife.

photo credit: tom bowler

photo credit: tom bowler


photo credit: lucinda morris

photo credit: lucinda morris

 

What are we doing to help?

 

In 2013, the Wildlife Speaker Series was initiated to increase awareness and refocus the conversation about wildlife. These events share stories of conservation initiatives and interesting wildlife facts at historical working lands and conservation-oriented venues. In five years, more than 3,400 people have attended our events and learned about 28 different species that live in Montana. Surveys show that 76% of attendees feel they were significantly more informed about wildlife after attending an event.


 

What difference does it make?

 

Through these events, we build trust, present a social opportunity to learn together, and foster relationships with community members and wildlife experts. The Speaker Series presents a safe, positive place for open discussion between people of varied backgrounds and points of view. The result is a community that understands the issues, is familiar with the people making decisions about wildlife, and, perhaps most importantly, has a more informed voice to weigh in on conservation decisions.

photo credit: ruby habitat foundation

photo credit: ruby habitat foundation


Not only are the speaker programs very informative, but the manner in which you bring them about is fantastic — the dynamic of watching a stalwart wildlife presenter husbanding a clutch of irrationally exuberant youngsters with multiple containers of amphibians being passed about on a summer evening at a working ranch is easily as enlightening as the revelations about a Rubber Boa itself. Not to mention hearing from a sound avian authority that exotic bird species from Florida can survive the winter in Dillon, Montana due to McDonalds drive-through. You don’t get that kind of insight from the text book.
— Tom Bowler, Wildlife Speaker Series Attendee

photo credit: lucinda morris

photo credit: lucinda morris


Interested in learning more about our Wildlife Speaker Series events?


2015 Speaker Series Survey Results

2016 Speaker Series Survey Results

2017 Speaker Series Survey Results



PARTNERS

The success of this project is made possible through collaboration with our many partners.
To learn more about our partners and the important work they do, click on the links below.

FUNDING PARTNERS

Beaverhead County
Brainerd Foundation
Patagonia, Inc.
Ruby Valley Conservation District

LOCAL SPONSORS

Anderson & Platt
Gravel Bar
Murdochs
R.L. Winston Rods Co.
Sarah Morris Art
Trout Stalkers
Willie's Distillery