Press Release from Keystone Conservation
Range Riders: Supporting the Coexistence of Wolves and Livestock
Bozeman – “How can increasing wolf populations and successful livestock operations coexist?” This is the question to be posed at a three-day workshop scheduled for late May. The Madison Valley Ranchlands Group and Keystone Conservation are offering a forum for sharing information about ranching near wolves and an orientation to range riding for livestock producers and riders. By gathering people raising livestock near wolves and biologists intent on making coexistence work, the orientation offers the chance to gain insight into wolf/livestock interactions and share experience on successful (and unsuccessful) practices.
Wolves represent a major new challenge to livestock production in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. In an attempt to reduce conflict between wolves and livestock, the Antelope Basin Range Riders program began in 2004, as a collaborative effort of the Madison Valley Ranchlands Group and Keystone Conservation. Each summer, Range Riders Jim and Marilyn Powers patrol 35,000 acres of public land in Antelope Basin, near Henry’s Lake on the Montana/Idaho border. The Riders pursue the task of keeping wolves and cattle apart through a combination of vigilant observation, tracking, herding, and non-lethal hazing techniques. They have shown exceptional skill at their work. Very few cattle or wolves have been lost during their tenure, despite growing numbers of wolves. This camp will provide an opportunity for others to learn from their vast experience, as well as a forum for a wide variety of participants to share their expertise.
The Range Riders Orientation Camp will take place on May 28-30, 2009, at the Wall Creek Wildlife Management Area, south of Cameron, Montana. The program will include time afield alongside Range Riders Jim and Marilyn Powers, as well as in-camp presentation and discussion sessions devoted to understanding wolf ecology and the variety of tools and practices that can be applied to reduce wolflivestock conflict. For more information, livestock producers or riders interested in attending the orientation camp should contact Cecily Costello, Keystone Conservation, 406-284-3477, email@example.com or Lane Adamson, Madison Valley Ranchlands Group, 406-682-3259, firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Madison Valley Ranchlands Group
The Madison Valley Ranchlands Group works to protect the ranching way of life and the biologically healthy open spaces on which ranching depends. See www.madisonvalleyranchlands.org.
About Keystone Conservation
Keystone Conservation has worked to protect and restore native predators and their habitats in the Northern Rockies since 1991. Keystone Conservation pioneers innovative solutions that help people and wildlife coexist. See www.keystoneconservation.us.