November 2, 2021 | Media Notice
Ranchers, USDA, other agencies gathering to discuss working lands, carnivores and conflict
Beyond Conflict online conference will focus on how to respond to increasing carnivore pressure in ways that keep ranches whole so they can continue to provide vital habitat.
Potomac, MT (online) – From November 8th to 10th, Western Landowners Alliance, Heart of the Rockies Initiative and Montana State University Extension will convene landowners and managers from nine western states together with state and federal officials for an online workshop. The first of its kind, Beyond Conflict: Sustaining Economic Viability in the Working Wild will focus on advancing solutions within a framework for wildlife-livestock conflicts called the 4Cs – compensation, conflict prevention, control and collaboration – focused on the ecological and economic viability of working lands.
Thanks to successful recovery efforts, large carnivores once again occupy large portions of the West. Much of that habitat for these iconic species is on private property, held by people that typically pay the bills, at least in part, from raising livestock. The 4Cs framework recognizes that the American public values the presence of diverse wildlife across the West, including large carnivores, and looks for shared solutions across rural and urban communities guided by those closest to the land.
The conference is part of a U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded Conservation Innovation Grant focused on evaluating livestock-carnivore conflict reduction practices on working ranches. “Our approach to this project is locally led and landowner driven,” says Alex Few, Working Wild Challenge program coordinator with the Western Landowners Alliance, who is co-managing the grant. “Ensuring that the knowledge gained from this collaborative research effort is informed by those closest to the land is necessary if we’re going to define solutions backed by science that actually work on the ground in enough cases to make a difference,” says Few.
The Conference’s second day, November 9th, is open to land stewards, managers and practitioners in the West. That day sessions on the history of federal land management in the West by historian Nathan Sayre, a landowner panel on the 4Cs, plus opportunities for Q&A with Dave Naugle, leading the way for the landowner-led science of the sage grouse initiative, and conversation with land stewards trialing conflict reduction practices highlight the agenda.
“We are excited for the opportunity to hear from, and work proactively together with, so many dedicated stewards of the working wild,” says Kari Cohen, Projects Branch Chief at USDA-NRCS.
“As wildlife populations recover and expand, it’s especially important to discuss and look at different conflict resolutions to enable our farming and ranching communities to thrive and assist in feeding the American people and the world,” says Janet Bucknall, USDA-Wildlife Services Deputy Administrator. “We are excited to be a part of this conversation and look forward to working collaboratively on wildlife damage management.”
Beyond Conflict event - https://westernlandowners.org/event/beyond-conflict-sustaining-economic-viability-in-the-working-wild/
Working Wild Challenge - https://westernlandowners.org/working-wild-challenge/
WWC Conflict Reduction Consortium - https://westernlandowners.org/working-wild-challenge/conflict-reduction-consortium/
Heart of the Rockies Initiative - https://heart-of-rockies.org/
Montana State University Extension - https://www.wildlifehabitatecologylab.com/extension.html
Communications Director, Western Landowners Alliance
Press passes are available upon request. Please contact us.