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Vital Ground is taking action to reverse loss of habitat and declining grizzly numbers by launching The Right PlaceTM Campaign, an endeavor to purchase biologically important tracts of private land in northwestern Montana, northern Idaho and British Columbia.
"We don't need to save thousands and thousands of acres- just those acres in exactly the right place!"
~ Douglas Chadwick Wildlife Biologist, Author
GOAL | Protecting the Right Places: The goal of the campaign is to help facilitate the recovery of the struggling grizzly bear populations in the Cabinet-Purcell-Selkirk mountain region and to identify and protect wildlife linkages that will allow grizzlies to naturally move south into the Bitterroot Ecosystem—a 3.7 million-acre wildlife paradise made up of two wilderness areas in Central Idaho.
In the northern Rockies, millions of acres of public lands are fairly well protected and serve as core habitat areas for grizzlies and other wildlife species. But separating these core habitats are strips of privately owned property containing homes, businesses, ranches and transportation corridors. The increased development and traffic in these areas disrupt wildlife movement across the landscape. Given the vastness and natural abundance already found in our forests and parks, we don't need to save thousands and thousands of acres of private lands. We only need to save the tens or hundreds of acres that strategically connect these core habitats —only those acres that are in exactly the right place. Vital Ground has been working with conservation and wildlife management partners for several years to strategically identify the private lands—the right places—that, if permanently protected, will allow natural grizzly bear movements between ecosystems and help prevent possible demographic and genetic isolation.
The Right PlaceTM Campaign contains two fundraising initiatives to address habitat conservation in this trans-border region: the Cabinet-Purcell Wildlife Linkage Initiative and the Selkirk Grizzly Bear Habitat Conservation Initiative. Through these initiatives, Vital Ground is conserving key lands via fee title acquisitions and conservation easements in identified linkage areas.
To view maps click on the links below!
Historically, as many as 10,000 grizzlies once roamed the western half of North America. Today, the lower 48 states hold roughly 1,600 grizzlies.
Lower 48 grizzly bear habitat and populations Map. Linking Landscapes Recovery Zones Map.
Sadly, fewer than 100 grizzlies persist in the Cabinet-Purcell- Selkirk region south of the Canada border-an area that biologists believe should hold more than 200 bears.
Donate: The Right PlaceTM Campaign represents one of the greatest
fundraising challenges in Vital Ground's twenty-year history. Every dollar you contribute helps us secure key parcels and makes a huge impact on protecting grizzly bear habitat and wildlife corridors in the trans-border region. We are currently raising funds to purchase properties in two defined linkage areas (Highway2/Troy and Highway 200/Noxon) under the Cabinet-Purcell Fund.
Unless conservation measures on key private lands are put into place soon, the region's grizzlies and other wildlife could disappear in the near future.
© Daniel J. Cox / www.naturalexposures.com