New Vital Ground Website Stresses Connecting Landscapes, Protecting Wildlife

Vital Ground's new website

Viewer-friendly overhaul includes new videos, featured projects and partnerships

MISSOULA, Mont. – Grizzly bears everywhere have a new and beautiful home—a home on the web, at least.

The Vital Ground Foundation unveiled its redesigned website——on Tuesday, the culmination of a rebrand for the Montana-based land trust that works to connect and conserve habitat for grizzly bears and other wildlife and to prevent conflicts between bears and people.

“The new website along with a redesigned logo, newsletter and other communications materials are all part of a year-long rebranding effort that complements Vital Ground’s work to accelerate its pace of conservation and prevent conflicts between people and bears within their expanding range,” said Kevin Rhoades, director of communications for Vital Ground. “We hope the fresh, updated tools will  inspire visitors and donors about the important habitat conservation work that we do.”

Vital Ground’s new look emphasizes the broad benefits of its habitat protection and conflict prevention work. Visitors arriving at the site are treated to a wide and colorful photo of snowcapped mountains above Montana’s North Fork of the Flathead River, where Vital Ground recently completed a conservation agreement with private landowners, adding to a total of more than 617,000 acres that the foundation has helped conserve since its founding in 1990.

Farther down the homepage, a new 90-second video introduces viewers to Vital Ground through sprawling aerial footage of wild landscapes, detailed behavior shots of bears, elk and other wildlife, and an overarching statement that roots the land trust’s work: “If a landscape can support grizzly bears, it can sustain countless other species.”

Atop the homepage, links direct viewers to photo-laden pages explaining Vital Ground’s approach and history, basic grizzly bear ecology, and the foundation’s current projects, as well as opportunities for viewers to join Vital Ground through donation or membership.

An interactive map near the bottom of the page provides geographical context for the land trust’s work, with viewers able to zoom in and locate particular projects, then click on their map points to visit a page detailing the project through photos, text, and in some cases, video footage and landowner interviews.

Elsewhere on the site, visitors can find Vital Ground’s latest news stories and blog posts, hats and coffee mugs for sale through the online Bear Mart, and details on the organization’s finances and partner grant program.

It’s all designed to engage newcomers with Vital Ground and its bold vision, as spelled out on the homepage: “a connected North American grizzly population and a resilient landscape where people and wildlife thrive.”

An accredited land trust and 501(c)(3) organization, Vital Ground works cooperatively with landowners, communities, and state and federal agencies to conserve some of Earth’s most magnificent and unique places for people, grizzly bears, and entire natural communities. For more information, contact The Vital Ground Foundation,  20 Fort Missoula Rd., Missoula, MT 59804; also available at (406) 549-8650 and


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