A Letter from Vital Ground’s Founders on the 19th Annual Bart the Bear Memorial Campaign
It’s the time of year when the bears are quiet. In Utah, we watch Bart II sleep outside under the stars and wonder where the wild bears up north den. We wonder how they’ll fare in the spring.
They will compete for habitat with new housing development and more cars on the road. It is getting harder and harder to find quiet and secure places—for all of us. We’re losing habitat at a fast rate.
Every 2.5 minutes, the American West loses a football field’s worth of natural areas to human development. Housing and commercial building account for more than half of all the open space that is lost.
Fifty thousand grizzlies used to roam throughout the American West. Now less than 2,000 of the great bears inhabit just four percent of their historic range. The areas around their largest wild strongholds—Glacier and Yellowstone national parks—are experiencing development rates far greater than the national average.
It is time to act fast and protect private lands as open space and wildlife habitat in the most vital places.
Over the last 18 months, Vital Ground has met with more than 50 grizzly bear biologists and managers to identify the most important places for conservation. These expert roundtables produced a detailed inventory and priority list of private lands across the region where habitat protection and conflict prevention is most urgent.
This information will not just guide and expedite our own conservation projects—it will also allow us to work more closely with other conservation groups and wildlife agencies to protect a network of connected habitat for grizzlies and other wildlife in the American West.
Wild creatures cannot persist in island populations—they need a linked landscape to thrive. Vital Ground’s newly-sharpened blueprint for conservation will help protect and connect our rich wildlife communities for generations to come.
You can save crucial habitat with your end-of-year gift. Every holiday season, our Bart the Bear Memorial Campaign calls upon your commitment to grizzly bear conservation. With natural areas vanishing daily, we’re calling extra loud this year.
You can protect Bart’s wild cousins by helping save the most vital habitat for grizzlies. We’re ready like we’ve never been before—to ensure that wild places endure for grizzly bears, for Canada lynx and wolverine and moose, for plant and bird communities, and for people.
Our landscape vision is big—but so is the threat. We’ve consulted the experts and pinpointed our priorities. Now we have more than 188,000 critical acres to protect.
Please make a gift today to protect and restore habitat for grizzlies—and for all things wild. Your contribution matters so much.
Thanks for all you do,
Doug and Lynne Seus
Vital Ground Founders