Nate Brown hired as Operations manager

The WYldlife Fund welcomes Nate Brown as our Operations Manager! Nate has hit the ground running in his first week on the job and will be a strong advocate and asset for Wyoming’s wildlife. Reach out to Nate at nate@thewyldlifefund.org or (307) 851-1223.
A Wyoming native, Nate was born in Fremont County and is proud to become a member of The WYldlife Fund team working as Operations Manager. Nate has worked for the past decade in the oil and gas industry in North Dakota as a pipeline inspector, foreman and superintendent. He credits his experiences in Wyoming, working in the agriculture and outfitting industries with providing him the tenacity to excel in his endeavors in the oil and gas business. These talents are now being put to work for Wyoming’s wildlife through The WYldlife Fund.
Prior to working in North Dakota, Nate made Wyoming his home working in the livestock industry, outfitting and guiding hunters, building saddles, and as a farrier. As a young man, Nate had the opportunity to work extensively in the Bridger-Teton Wilderness and Wind River Range and loves packing horses and mules into the backcountry. Along with his guiding and outfitting background, he has enjoyed many hours in the saddle working alongside many of the best in the livestock and ranching industry. A lifelong dream of being a cowboy and a love for Wyoming’s wildlife was instilled in him by his family, many of whom hunted and worked to preserve and protect the wildlife and western heritage that makes Wyoming special.
Wyoming has a quality of life and a mystique that has called Nate home. Despite college aspirations and career motivations that led him away momentarily, Nate is proud to say that Wyoming has always been his home. He will strive to bring a cohesive and bonding work ethic to the conservation efforts of The WYldlife fund, using his broad background to bring varied interest groups together for the common goal of providing a legacy of conservation-minded people who agree to work together for Wyoming’s wildlife and to preserve it for generations to come.

Apply for the Inspire A Kid Camp Today!

The WYldlife Fund is partnering with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to host the first annual Inspire a Kid Camp at the Little Jennie Ranch in Bondurant this June 22nd-28th. The camp offers an overnight camp experience for male students ages 13-16. The camp will focus on exploration of nature, introduction to conservation principles, leadership development, and learning new recreational outdoor activities while giving participants experiences to successfully navigate and positively interact with the outdoor environment. The Inspire a Kid Camp led by the Little Jennie Ranch and WYldlife Fund staff will allow participants to observe the natural world, engage in wildlife, fish, and habitat biology, and recreate responsibly in the outdoors.
Thanks to a generous donor, there will be no cost for participants to attend camp. Along with dynamic lessons from Game and Fish biologists on a daily basis, participants will have the chance to build their own fly rods, participate in shooting sports and enjoy horseback riding amongst other activities. Every night we will have leadership chats around the campfire with speakers such as Director Brian Nesvik of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and Dan Starks who built the National Military Vehicle Museum in Dubois.
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If you are a male student 13-16 years of age and are interested in a once in a lifetime experience please fill out the below application and submit by May 31st at 4pm by emailing your application to chris@thewyldlifefund.org or mail to The WYldlife Fund at PO Box 890 Buffalo, WY 82834.
To preview our camp registration and information packet download the pdf below.
If you have any questions call Chris McBarnes at (307)316-3863 or email chris@thewyldlifefund.org

The WYldlife Fund contributes $34,500 to the Absaroka Fence Initiative

The WYldlife Fund was honored to present a check for $34,500 to our good friends at the Absaroka Fence Initiative at the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission meeting on March 25th in Cody. This donation was made possible through a generous donation of a Wyoming Commissioner License by Commissioner Ashlee Lundvall. Thank you, Commissioner Lundvall!
 
The Absaroka Fence Initiative works in cooperation with willing landowners and land managers, and aims to ensure fences are functional for livestock management and wildlife movement across the landscape through on the ground projects, public workdays and outreach to the community.

Wildlife unfriendly fences can interrupt wildlife habitat connectivity and migration routes and create many other hazards for wildlife.

In a 2020 Wyoming study, each radio-collared mule deer encountered fences an average of 119 times each year and pronghorn antelope encountered fences at more than twice that rate, about 248 times per year. Pronghorn and mule deer alter their natural movement nearly 40% of the times they encounter fences. Such avoidance of fences can drive animals away from high-quality resources and reduce habitat use effectiveness.

A study of antelope, mule deer and elk mortality along 600 miles of road (1,200 miles of fence) in Utah and Colorado found 0.4 mortalities per year per mile of fence or one dead antelope every year per 5.6 miles of fence; one dead mule deer every year per 7.8 miles of fence and a dead elk every year for every 10.3 miles of fence. This equates to one dead animal every 2.5 miles of fence.

The WYldlife Fund will continue to support wildlife friendly fence work across Wyoming. You can learn more about the great work of the Absaroka Fence Initiative by heading to their website: https://absarokafenceinitiative.org.

$50,000 headed to the US 26 Dubois Wildlife Crossing Project

The 10 Country Chapter of Muley Fanatics Partners With The WYldlife Fund To Send $50,000 Gift To US Highway 26 Wildlife Crossing Project 

Organizations stand beside Game and Fish Commission to prioritize safe passages

 

The Muley Fanatic Foundation has enthusiastically delivered a check for $50,000 to The WYldlife Fund in order to spark fundraising efforts for the US Highway 26 Wildlife Crossing Project. This project around Dubois from Stoney Point to Dinwoody Creek (mileposts 48-73)  meets a major need in keeping our wildlife and drivers on the go.

US 26 around Dubois is one of the most dangerous highway segments in Wyoming for both motorists and wildlife in terms of wildlife-vehicle collision (WVC) risk. From 2015 through 2019, collisions with wildlife accounted for 74% of all vehicle crashes reported to law enforcement. The cost of these collisions is estimated at $791,400 annually, including property damage, accident response and cleanup costs, and the value of the wildlife killed in these collisions.

The Dubois mule deer herd is an identified priority herd in the Wyoming State Action Plan and the WVC mortality rate on US 26 has been a recognized concern for many years.

10 Country Chapter Co-chairmen Jared Oakleaf and Rowdy Anderson explain, “The US Highway 26 Wildlife Crossing Project was identified in the 2017 Wyoming Wildlife and Roadways Summit as one of the state’s top priorities. This project undoubtedly will make our roadways safer for our families and wildlife. Our chapter is proud to partner with The WYldlife Fund to route these dollars to this much needed project. We are just beginning the fundraising efforts for US 26 and we hope this gift will spark momentum for the project.”

 

In accepting this gift, The WYldlife Fund President Chris McBarnes expressed the Fund’s commitment to supporting Wyoming’s wildlife and promoting safety on roadways for all drivers.

“Wildlife crossings are an effective way to make a direct and positive impact on Wyoming’s wildlife. Pairing underpasses and overpasses with high fencing can reduce wildlife collisions by more than 90%. The WYldlife Fund is a vehicle to route dollars to on the ground projects which will strengthen and advance our wildlife. We applaud Muley Fanatics for their continued commitment to Wyoming’s wildlife.”

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department and Wyoming Department of Transportation partnered alongside other agencies, NGOs, landowners and the Dubois community to develop a comprehensive mitigation strategy to effectively reduce wildlife vehicle collisions on US Highway 26 in the Dubois area.

“We’re excited about the mitigation strategy and are initially focusing on the construction of the comprehensive system of the over- and underpasses in that segment of the highway from milepost 58 to 64.5.  Of course, contributions like this from the 10 Country Chapter of MFF get us a bit closer to project implementation and we are grateful,” said Wyoming Game and Fish Department Lander Region Wildlife Management Coordinator Daryl Lutz.

“Conservation efforts in the 21st Century are rooted in collaboration and this is a prime example of such. This project, its needs and priorities, have been well documented. We are elated to see the 10 Country Chapter is in a position to make this valuable contribution. The 10 Country Chapter and their supporters continue to raise the bar in furthering the MFF mission,” said Joshua Coursey, Muley Fanatic Foundation President/CEO.

2022 Wyoming Commissioner License Raffle Now Available!

Your choice on hunt area and species for one of the following THIS FALL:

Deer, Elk, or Antelope- subject to Wyoming Game & Fish Department guidelines.

Only 350 tickets will be sold

Open to Residents and Non Residents

Support Wildlife

Win a once in a lifetime hunt in Wyoming and support wildlife conservation at the same time!

This Wyoming Commissioner License is valid in any hunt area throughout Wyoming’s dynamic hunting country. This is your opportunity to support Wyoming’s wildlife while having the shot at an incredible hunting experience. All of the proceeds raised through this raffle will help further the mission of The WYldlife Fund.

View Raffle!

Join us on The WYldlife Fund Facebook Page on March 4th, 2022 at 5pm Mountain Time as we announce the winner!

 

The Wyldlife Fund is Hiring!

Operations Manager- The WYldlife Fund – Buffalo,WY/Remote Considered

The Operations Manager will help oversee daily operations and provide strategic and tactical leadership for The WYldlife Fund of Wyoming (Fund).

The Operations Manager will help assist the Fund, through donor relations, in reaching goals and objectives to connect citizens to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and habitat conservation in Wyoming. The Operations Manager will help manage ongoing programs and serve as the right hand to the President. The Operations Manager will consistently evaluate the landscape to find opportunities which will advance the mission and vision of the Fund and motivate audiences to support the Fund’s vision of conserving Wyoming’s fish and wildlife resources. Potential for professional growth to a higher level position as the Fund matures. 

For more information please contact: chris@thewyldlifefund.org

Position Announcement – Wyldlife Fund Operations Manager (1)

Wildlife Tourism For Tomorrow announces $20,000 grant

First grant from innovative initiative presented to the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission

$20,000 to help native cutthroat trout in Teton County

Trout Unlimited’s Spread Creek project first to receive check from unique program generating wildlife funds from ecotourism in Wyoming

RIVERTON, Wyoming — The first grant from a new initiative created to support wildlife projects in the state was presented today during the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission meeting. Taylor Phillips handed a check for $20,000 to Alan Osterland, Chief of Fisheries for Wyoming Game and Fish, Cory Toye, the Wyoming Water and Habitat Program Director for Trout Unlimited, and Ken Roberts, Wyoming Game and Fish Commissioner District 3.

The money will be granted to Trout Unlimited to support a large-scale collaborative project to prevent future losses of native migratory cutthroat trout and other native fish by installing a fish screen on the Spread Creek irrigation system near Jackson, Wyoming. The work will also stabilize the diversion structure and river channel in the project area which had been damaged by flooding.

“We are thrilled to present the first grant from Wildlife Tourism for Tomorrow to this important fish passage project which will help native population of Snake River cutthroat trout,” said Taylor Phillips, founder of Wildlife Tourism for Tomorrow, owner of Jackson Hole EcoTour Adventures and a board member for The WYldlife Fund. “We are incredibly grateful for the businesses and individuals who have supported Wildlife Tourism for Tomorrow in these early days of the program. We see great opportunity to further engage the billion-dollar tourism industry and, in turn, get more done for Wyoming’s wildlife.”

Wildlife Tourism For Tomorrow is an initiative underneath the umbrella of The WYldlife Fund, a partner nonprofit to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department focused on directing money to advance wildlife projects across the state.

“Bettering connectivity and quality aquatic habitat for Snake River cutthroat trout is important for Wyoming’s healthy native fish populations,” said Wyoming Game and Fish Department director Brian Nesvik. “In supporting businesses who are part of Wildlife Tourism Tomorrow, you are contributing to the conservation of wildlife, and making a difference.”

Trout Unlimited uses funds from many sources to complete projects. The $20,000 contribution raised by Wildlife Tourism For Tomorrow helps make possible the current work on Phase 2 of the Spread Creek Fish Passage Project. Partners on the project include Grand Teton National Park, Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, and Trout Unlimited. Altogether, there are more than 20 partners involved in the multi-year project.

“We are honored that the Spread Creek Fish Passage Project will be the first project to be funded by Wildlife Tourism for Tomorrow. Wildlife tourism and the fishing industry are vital components of the local tourism economy in the Jackson area, and while this project primarily benefits Snake River cutthroat trout and other native fish, healthy watersheds and riparian areas also benefit wildlife species,” said Leslie Steen, Northwest Wyoming Program Manager for Trout Unlimited. “Many times, when I have gone out to visit the Spread Creek project site, I’ve seen wildlife tour trips in the area, and it is really neat to think that those same businesses are now giving back to native fish. We are grateful to all the businesses and individuals that generously made contributions to support this collaborative, multi-agency project, and to Taylor Phillips and The WYldlife Fund for their leadership in this effort.”

Inspire a Kid Grant!

Thanks to the Wyoming Sportsman’s Group a $10,000 grant is headed to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to support Inspire a Kid!

Raising up the next generation of conservationists is important to The WYldlife Fund and WSG!

The WYldlife Fund cares about inspiring the next generation of conservationists and so does the Wyoming Sportsman’s Group (WSG)! All thanks to WSG, we were able to present $10,000 to the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission this week specifically for the Inspire a Kid program. Inspire a Kid, championed by Director Brian Nesvik, seeks to inspire Wyoming’s kids through the majesty of our wildlife and wild places. The great outdoors teach us incredibly valuable lessons, and Inspire a Kid seeks to pass those lessons down to Wyoming’s youth.

These grant dollars from WSG will be used to help purchase pronghorn educational boxes and educational tracking collars.

The pronghorn educational boxes will be loaned out on a long-term basis to schools and museums across Wyoming, to teach children about this wonderful Wyoming critter. The boxes will hold multiple interactive pieces that will teach children about pronghorn. Before this grant, boxes like this were often requested by teachers but none were available for long term use. This grant will help solve this challenge and provide an additional resource for our incredible teachers across Wyoming.

The educational tracking collars will be used in classrooms across Wyoming by biologists to teach children about the importance of migration research. These tracking collars are designed specifically for in classroom use, and can even be hid in order to allow students the opportunity to use the same technology which is used by biologists in the field to track down the hidden collar! This mimics actions used in the field by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to track down collared wildlife for research purposes. This hands on learning experience won’t soon be forgotten by the children who experience it.

Thank you to the Wyoming Sportsman’s Group for making this grant possible!

First Annual Golf For Wildlife – A Success!

Thanks to the hard work of our good friends at Muley Fanatic Foundation, passionate golfers and outstanding sponsors the first annual Golf For Wildlife Outing on July 31,2021 was deemed a smashing success. Each and every year we plan on partnering with our good friends at Muley Fanatic Foundation to raise funds for a critical wildlife project in Wyoming. This year, we raised funds for the important I-25 Kaycee to Buffalo Wildlife Crossing Project.

This stretch of roadway is the second deadliest in the entire state for wildlife, mainly mule deer! This cost effective project will include building 17 miles of exclusionary fencing on each side of the interstate to funnel wildlife to existing agriculture underpasses. The project is now under design by the Wyoming Department of Transportation and we hope that this project is under construction by next spring. Keep an eye out for this development!

The wildlife of Wyoming help support thousands of jobs and small businesses. It is also a very important part of our heritage and traditions. Golf For Wildlife has clearly shown what can be done to help our wildlife when we come together with passion and purpose. We are happy to report that Golf For Wildlife raised $7,028.78 all of which will be headed to the I-25 project. We will also route this money through the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust for a 1:1 match which will mean over $14,000 will be headed to the project thanks to your generous gifts!

We value your partnership and belief in these efforts. Thank you for believing in Wyoming’s wildlife.

Stay tuned for info regarding the 2022 Golf For Wildlife Outing!

Best Regards,

Chris McBarnes
President
The WYldlife Fund

Outdoor Fund provides transformational grant

The WYldlife Fund Announces $125,000 Grant for Kaycee-Buffalo Wildlife Crossing Project. We thanks our friends at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s for believing in Wyoming’s wildlife!

Grant from Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund will help protect wildlife on the move and make safe crossings possible

Thanks to a generous grant from Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund another $125,000 is going to the I-25 Kaycee to Buffalo wildlife crossing project. Across Wyoming, thousands of animals die from roadway collisions annually, including deer, pronghorn, elk, moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goats. This cost-effective transportation project will protect wildlife and allow for safe crossings between summer and winter range habitat.

In announcing this grant, The WYldlife Fund Chairman Mark Wilson expressed the Fund’s commitment to supporting Wyoming’s wildlife and roadway safety.

“We thank Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s for their generous investment. We’re grateful for the support from these businesses that know that crossings are an effective way to make a positive and direct impact on wildlife across Wyoming as well as keeping drivers safe. The cost-effective approach of this project will help our state’s wildlife and serve as a model for other projects like it throughout the West,” Wilson said.

The stretch of road on I-25 Kaycee to Buffalo from mileposts 253-271 has the second-highest collisions rate with deer on a Wyoming interstate and limits the safe movement of mule deer seeking additional habitat. This shovel-ready project will utilize exclusionary fencing to funnel wildlife to six existing crossing structures, such as underpasses, bridges and culverts. This project will also add deer ramps, gates, and cattle guards, as needed.

“In Wyoming and across the West, it’s never been more critical to protect and support wildlife movements,” said Bob Ziehmer, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s senior director of conservation. “The I-25 Kaycee to Buffalo wildlife crossing project shows the power of partnership in addressing key wildlife needs. We thank our customers for rounding up spare change at the register to the Outdoor Fund and making this work possible.”

The WYldlife Fund will route the Outdoor Fund’s investment through the Wyoming Wildlife Natural Resource Trust Fund to be matched dollar-for-dollar. This will result in a total project gift of $250,000.

“We welcome the involvement of Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund in conservation of Wyoming wildlife. Partnerships are crucial to getting these projects on the ground,” said Bob Budd, Executive Director of the Wyoming Wildlife Natural Resource Trust.  We truly value the relationships we’ve created to mobilize state and private resources. This is a model that can be used in Wyoming and elsewhere to achieve higher conservation objectives.”

The WYldlife Fund is a 501c3 who unites people to advance Wyoming wildlife habitat, research and education. The newly established Fund is a home for all lovers of wildlife and exists to inject funds on the ground to advance critical wildlife projects.

 

The WYldlife Fund presents a check for $225,000 to the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission for the I-25 Kaycee to Buffalo Wildlife Crossing Project ($125,000 from the Outdoor Fund and $100,000 from the Knobloch Family Foundation)