Reducing human-wildlife conflicts through proactive and preventative strategies
The Blackfoot watershed provides excellent habitat for species like grizzly bears, wolves, and elk. When wildlife populations overlap with humans, conflicts can occur. Examples include bears destroying beehives, wolves killing livestock, or elk grazing on large amounts of hay. Since 2002, the Wildlife Committee has brought landowners, biologists, and other partners together to share information about wildlife activity in the watershed, identify shared values, and cooperatively form management strategies to minimize conflicts. The Committee has installed electric fencing around beehives and calving grounds, loans bear-resistant garbage cans to watershed residents, and coordinates the Carcass Pick Up and Range Rider Programs.
Header photo: Peter Brown
LIVING WITH BEARS & WOLVES
Privately owned lands comprise roughly 25% of the Blackfoot watershed, and when human populations overlap with carnivore habitat, conflicts can occur.
For years, electric fence has proven to be an effective method for keeping bears separated from attractants like garbage, beehives, and livestock.
CARCASS PICK UP
By removing livestock carcasses from watershed ranches, the Carcass Pick Up Program reduces the chances for conflict with carnivores.
The Challenge employs seasonal Range Riders during the summer months to help monitor carnivore activity in proximity to livestock.
Whether you’re a recreationist or resident — or both — of the Blackfoot, being “bear aware” is a necessity. Learn about the things you can do to enhance your safety.
Grazing elk have a big economic impact on agricultural operations in the watershed. Learn more about our seasonal Elk Hunt Coordination Program.
WINTER CARNIVORE MONITORING
During the winter months, the Challenge’s wildlife team participates in a regional collaborative effort to monitor the whereabouts of rare forest carnivores like lynx and wolverine.