Translocating and supporting beavers, a WIN-WIN

The WYldlife Fund allows donors to make restricted gifts to fund a passion which is of most interest and relevancy. This model allows the donor faith and confidence that their donation is headed directly to an area of most passion. Thanks to a generous gift by Mary and Charlie Rumsey of Meeteetse, WY we have established a fund which directly supports the majestic moose and the first investment from this fund supports beaver translocation and expansion across Wyoming in key geographical areas.

This generous gift from the Rumsey Family, which established the moose fund, went to support the purchase and fabrication of a beaver translocation trailer for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. This trailer will allow for safe and effective beaver translocation to willing and accepting landowners. These efforts result in enhanced wetlands habitat which benefits a multitude of wildlife species.

Izott Emily Lydia Tween of Washington State University explains, “Increasingly land managers use beavers to restore stream function. Through the impacts of dam building beavers increase water storage and aquifer recharge, resulting in improved stream conditions for fish. Beavers are ecosystem engineers altering habitat by building dams and impounding water and sediment. Beaver ponding can increase surface-groundwater exchange in the hyporhoeic zone which in turn may lead to cooler inputs of groundwater upwelling downstream. This consequent buffering of maximum stream temperatures can be of benefit to temperature sensitive species. Beavers are seen as a cost-effective method for habitat restoration compared to resource-intensive heavy engineering restoration projects.”

Through this gift, the Rumsey Family is standing behind the efforts of Terrestrial Habitat Biologist, Jerry Altermatt and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department in their commitment to strategically utilizing these ‘ecosystem engineers’ and the positive enhancements they bring to the landscape and habitat.

The WYldlife Fund thanks Mary and Charlie for their incredible commitment to the wildlife of Wyoming and their jumpstart of the moose fund! If you would be interested in investing in this important cause please reach out to us at 307-316-3863 or email chris@thewyldlifefund.org.

The WYldlife Fund announces the latest round of microgrant awards!

The WYldlife Fund is proud to support the following projects through our microgrant program.  Please feel free to share our website and the application for a microgrant with any organization that has a project that is strategically aligned with our vision and mission statement, “Uniting people to advance Wyoming wildlife habitat, research, and education”.  

 

Greater Yellowstone/Crooked Creek Bear Proof Trash Storage–

Through our microgrant program, The Wyldlife Fund is proud to have provided a $2500 grant to the Greater Yellowstone Coalition to provide Pro-Pactor trash compactor trailer to the Crooked Creek Ranch in the Dunoir area west of Dubois, WY.  This trailer will be used to limit grizzly bear conflicts in the area by responsibly and effectively storing waste in a bear proof container.  Other partners in this project are: Crooked Creek Ranch, U.S. Forest Service, Wyoming Game and Fish, and the Greater Yellowstone Coalition.  The Wyldlife Fund is proud to provide support for this cause and promote responsible waste management and education.

 

Park County Weed and Pest:  Boot Brush Stations

Partnering with the Park County Weed and Pest, The Wyldlife Fund is proud to sponsor the purchase of five additional PlayCleanGo Boot Brush Stations to place at trailheads throughout Park County.  These stations provide a boot cleaning station at trailheads in order to help prevent invasive species introduction into areas of critical wildlife habitat.  The WYldlife Fund is happy to work with the BLM and Shoshone National Forest to provide $2500 through our Microgrant program to provide additional stations and promote education about invasive plant species and the part that humans play in spreading them into areas that are critical for wildlife.

 

Wyoming Game and Fish:  Afton Elk Herd Native Winter Range Project

The WYldlife Fund with our partners at the Wyoming Game and Fish are happy to support the efforts of Ben Wise (regional wildlife disease biologist) to research the portion of the Afton elk herd that are not currently utilizing the elk feedgrounds.  This project will involve capturing and collaring elk with the use of helicopters to provide critical data concerning migration patterns and utilization of native winter range. Our $2500 microgrant will help offset the cost of collars and activation fees, etc.  The mission statement of The Wyldlife Fund is:  Uniting people to advance Wyoming wildlife habitat, research, and education.  This project is perfectly aligned with that goal.

Joey’s Fly Fishing:  Joey’s Stream Keepers Conservation Program

Working together with our friends at Joey’s Fly Fishing, The Wyldlife Fund is proud to provide sponsorship of the Joey’s Stream Keepers Conservation Program through a microgrant of $2500.  These funds will be utilized to provide research through the use of river boxes, entomology collection and analysis kits.  The aim of this research is to provide education to support efforts in stream management and protection for long-term sustainability.  Other partners in this effort are as follows:  Trout Unlimited, Holy Name Catholic School, Admiral Beverage, and Oxbow Ranch (Randal Huckeba).

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!