The WYldlife Fund launches initiative, awards first grants to support landowner stewardship, migration corridors
The Pooled Migration Fund serves as a catalyst to significant federal investments in Wyoming
The WYldlife Fund, a nonprofit partner of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, announced the first recipients of grant funding from its new Pooled Migration Fund. The grant funding is intended to enhance voluntary conservation of private, working lands and Tribal lands within big game migration corridors.
“Private landowners and Tribal partners provide important habitat for wildlife,” said WYldlife Fund President Chris McBarnes. “We’re proud this new effort can accelerate their stewardship efforts, which keeps working lands working and Wyoming’s proud wildlife heritage intact.”
The Pooled Migration Fund supports stewardship of private and tribal lands within the state-designated Platte Valley, Baggs and Sublette mule deer migration corridors, as well as multispecies seasonal ranges in the Shoshone River valleys and Wind River Indian Reservation. It is supported by philanthropic grants from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Wilburforce Foundation and BAND Foundation.
Recipients of the first round of the Pooled Migration Fund grant are the Greater Yellowstone Coalition: $175,000, Jackson Hole Land Trust: $200,000, The Nature Conservancy: $112,156, Western Landowner Alliance: $200,000 and Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust: $228,350.
“The Pooled Migration Fund is part of a new model of federal, state and philanthropic partnerships aimed at sustaining our state’s working and Tribal lands and wildlife,” McBarnes added.
The Pooled Migration Fund complements the recent partnership between the United States Department of Agriculture and the State of Wyoming through the Big Game Conservation Partnership. The now $22 million pilot partnership — which initially started at $16 million — was established to allow producers to simultaneously manage their land for livestock, wildlife and migration corridors.
“Wyoming’s landowners provide productive wildlife habitat across our state and this initiative focused on wildlife movement is really important,” said Brian Nesvik, Director of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. “This partnership is opening new doors to put wildlife conservation on the ground.”
“The US Department of Agriculture is very excited to be working alongside the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, the WYldlife Fund, and these grant recipients to support a voluntary, locally-led approach to the conservation of Wyoming’s iconic big game migrations,” said Dr. Arthur Middleton, Senior Advisor for Wildlife Conservation in USDA’s Farm Production and Conservation Mission Area.
The WYldlife Fund expects to announce another Request for Proposals for grant funding from the Pooled Migration Fund this fall focused on project implementation.
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Serving as a nonprofit partner to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department since 2020, The WYldlife Fund specializes in precise and efficient allocation of philanthropic resources to advance wildlife projects across Wyoming. For questions reach out to Chris McBarnes at 307-316-3863 or firstname.lastname@example.org.