After many days in the office, it can be easy to forget why we do what we do here at Vital Ground. But when Cameron Nace comes to visit, we remember in a hurry.
Cameron, who lives with autism, is one of Vital Ground’s biggest fans. Bears have fascinated him since he was 10 years old, when he first saw the film The Bear, starring Bart the Bear, and for the last 15 years, he has kept up a friendship with Vital Ground co-founders Doug and Lynne Seus, as well as our animal ambassadors, Bart the Bear II, Honey Bump and Tank.
When Cameron and his parents, Kelly and Michael Jindrich, stopped by the Vital Ground office in Missoula last week for their annual visit from Portland, Ore., his knowledge and enthusiasm for bears and conservation inspired us all to finish strong in what has been a momentous year for Vital Ground.
“Grizzly bears and other wild animals need Vital Ground,” Cameron said during his visit, and we couldn’t agree more. With your help, 2017 has seen us make great progress toward protecting the critical Wild River connectivity corridor in far northwest Montana. We also conserved important habitat in the Whitefish and Cabinet ranges of Montana, supported valuable conflict prevention efforts through our Conservation Partners Grant Program, and began a new science-driven strategic planning effort to pinpoint the most important places for saving wildlands and minimizing bear-human confrontations.
We do it all so people like Cameron can experience the wonder of grizzly bears and other wildlife for generations to come. In addition to expanding his extensive collection of bear facts and drawings, Cameron has started volunteering with bears at Wildlife Safari in Winston, Ore., a 600-acre wildlife park that supports international endangered species conservation and hosts both black and grizzly bears, along with more than 600 other species.
If you, like Cameron, believe in saving places for grizzlies, other wildlife, and people alike, learn how you can help Vital Ground today!
Read more about Cameron’s unique love of bears in our Spring 2017 issue of Vital News.