Recent events at Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge remind our Northern Rockies, Prairies and Pacific team of the relevance our work and your support has to life in our region. Conserving wildlife and wildlife habitat, and maintaining people’s diverse connections to nature has everything to do with your way of life and quality of life.
Year after year, many of the bison forced by deep snows to migrate out of Yellowstone National Park are trapped by government employees, herded into trucks and sent to slaughterhouses. It’s an appalling betrayal of modern wildlife-management principles. But there’s good news: This could be the last winter that Yellowstone sends bison to slaughter en masse. The National Park Service proposes to ship bison to Fort Peck Reservation for eventual use in restoring and expanding herds on reservations and beyond.
In 2015, NWF launched a new initiative focused on maintaining separation between domestic and wild sheep and increasing available habitat. We are working closely with our sportsmen partners, including the Wild Sheep Foundation and state affiliates in MT, ID and WY, to address challenges and opportunities facing bighorn sheep in the West.
Eco-Schools USA, NWF’s celebrated K-12 program to help educators and students integrate sustainability practices into their schools, is stronger than ever in the Missoula area. To celebrate our schools’ successes, we are hosting a First Friday event on March 4th featuring the artwork of Clark Fork School.
The permits for the Tongue River Railroad have stalled, and Arch Coal just filed for bankruptcy. Washington and Oregon are weaning their electric power away from coal, and three Montana newspapers recently ran editorials advocating for a transition away from coal to cleaner energy.
For more than 75 years, the Idaho Wildlife Federation has consistently delivered legislative victories for the benefit of sportsmen, sportswomen, wildlife and habitat. Recent victories include a fight to prevent loss of public lands, protection of bighorn sheep, new conservation plans for sage-grouse, and the passage of new protections for the Boulder-White Clouds area.
Through a professional exchange sponsored by the State Department’s Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) and managed by the University of Montana’s Mansfield Center, the National Wildlife Federation hosted two young conservation professionals in October 2015 in Missoula, MT. In turn, our educational and conservation-based mission traveled to Laos and Vietnam last month.