Vital Ground’s news page keeps you updated on press releases, upcoming events, campaigns and stories.

North Cascades meadow

Grizzlies on track for return to North Cascades

Federal agencies announce reintroduction plan, with Bitterroot scoping also underway By Kayla Heinze, Communications & Outreach Coordinator The last time ...

Photo: Matt Hart

Protecting Social Habitat for Bears

By Kayla Heinze, Communications and Outreach Coordinator  Layered onto the diverse landscapes that grizzlies call home is another, equally variable ...

Photo: Kayla Heinze

Bears in the Bitterroot?

By Kayla Heinze, Communications and Outreach Coordinator  The Bitterroot Mountains straddle the Montana-Idaho border with steep, granite-walled drainages. With the ...

Photo: USDA Forest Service

Field Notes: Inside look at UDAP’s world of bear spray

By Kim Davitt, Development Director It’s not every day that you get to see how the sausage is made. Or ...

Photo: Courtesy of UDAP
Grizzly on trail camera at Salmon Prairie project

Top 5 stories of 2023: Grizzlies gaining key ground

Recapping a strong year of momentum for wildlife conservation Happy 2024! As we turn the page to a new year, ...

100-Acre Wood

Vital Ground Expands Kootenai Valley Habitat Protections

North Idaho Conservation Acquisition Maintains Open Corridor for Grizzlies and Other Wildlife BOUNDARY COUNTY, Idaho – Grizzly bear recovery in ...

Photo: Mitch Doherty

Happy Birthday, ESA! Marking 50 years of the Endangered Species Act

By Kayla Heinze, Communications Specialist Fifty years ago, a piece of environmental legislation was signed into law that significantly altered ...

Photo: Robert Scriba
North Idaho's Bismark Meadows in Selkirk Mountains

Celebrating 1 million acres of conservation!

A Million Reasons for Gratitude—and Motivation By Ryan Lutey, Executive Director In our day-to-day business, Vital Ground strives to maintain ...

Conservation Community: Small change making a big change for wildlife

Meet John Tiedemann, a bear lover with a unique way of helping wildlife By Kayla Heinze, Communications Specialist At first ...

Photo: Rachel Arabia for Mustang News
Fowler Creek with fall colors

Yaak Valley Land Purchase Adds to Protected Wildlife Movement Area

Vital Ground Expands Fowler Creek Grizzly Habitat Conservation Project NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE YAAK, Mont. – Key wildlife habitat and ...

Photo: Randy Beacham
Chelsea Klocke

Vital Ground Welcomes Administrative and Finance Assistant Chelsea Klocke

As Vital Ground’s conservation impact continues to grow so does our team, as we are pleased to welcome Chelsea Klocke ...

Habitat protection and restoration abounds in Montana’s Yaak Valley

By Kayla Heinze, Communications Specialist Just as we finished setting up the video equipment, the wolves started howling. We stood ...

Photo: Kayla Heinze
Grizzly in snowy lodgepole forest

Make your voice heard for grizzly reintroduction in the North Cascades

UPDATE (11/15): The recent public comment period on North Cascades grizzly reintroduction and experimental population designation is now over, but stay ...

Dan Flores headshot and Wild New World book cover

Join Vital Ground and Dan Flores for an evening exploring the Wild New World!

November 8 webinar will discuss the past, present and future of America’s relationship with wildlife If you’ve followed Vital Ground ...

Clark Fork-Bull River confluence area

Land Link Protected: Western Montana Conservation Project Expands Crucial Wildlife Corridor

Vital Ground, Y2Y Strengthen Protection of Key Bull River Wildlife Linkage Zone NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MISSOULA, Mont. – More ...

Photo: Randy Beacham

Vital Ground Welcomes Conservation Project Manager Tanner Williams

Meet the newest member of the Vital Ground staff! As the Lower 48’s grizzly populations continue to recover and expand ...

North Idaho's Bismark Meadows in Selkirk Mountains

Annual Report 2022: Explore Your Conservation Impact

Habitat Conservation: a Tangible Solution in Changing Times Dear friend of Vital Ground, In the conservation community and beyond, many ...

Field Notes: An entire ecosystem of conservation at Montana’s J Bar L Ranch

By Kayla Heinze, Communications Specialist At the J Bar L Ranch in southwestern Montana, the plan is often that things ...

Photo: Kayla Heinze
Zac Efron explaining grizzly bear recovery

Kodiak and Zac Efron “Keep It Wild” to Help Grizzlies

Vital Ground partner advancing habitat protection, with retro merchandise and help from a star We all want to live in ...

Bull River-Clark Fork confluence area

Conservation Success: Western Montana Land Acquisition Bolsters Wildlife Linkage for Grizzlies and More

Vital Ground, Yellowstone to Yukon Conserve 129 Acres in Key Bull River Wildlife Corridor NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MISSOULA, Mont. ...

Photo: Randy Beacham
Vital Ground Land Steward Brittani Rosas and landowner partner Mary Sexton

Field Notes: Land stewardship for the long run on Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front

By Kayla Heinze, Communications Specialist Forever is a long time. It’s also a timescale not typically on the front of ...

Photo: Kayla Heinze
Vital Ground board and staff in northern Idaho

Fond farewells: Kevin Rhoades and Jack Capp

Vital Ground says goodbye to retiring conservation stalwarts An office move wasn’t the only change at Vital Ground headquarters during ...

Donovan Creek wetland habitat

What wetlands offer

By Kayla Heinze, Communications Specialist In the far reaches of Idaho’s northern panhandle lie two important wetlands sites. One, the ...

Photo: Mitch Doherty
Vital Ground's Fowler Creek project

Project Update: Vital Ground working to expand Yaak Valley habitat connection

Fowler Creek West project aims to conserve forested valley bottomlands In The Book of Yaak, Montana author Rick Bass describes ...

Unearthing the story of bears’ evolution

By Kayla Heinze, Communications Specialist Living peacefully alongside bears can require innovation. Each year, as grizzlies emerge back onto the ...

Photo: Martin Cathrae on Flickr
Vital Ground's former Heritage Hall office

We’re moving! Vital Ground relocates to new office

Come see us in our new, larger home! When Vital Ground moved its headquarters from Utah to Montana in 2005, ...

Bears and bird flu? Exploring interspecies connections and infectious disease

By Kayla Heinze, Communications Specialist Movement is the defining theme of the season. As the Northern Hemisphere awakens under the ...

Photo: Jamie Scarrow
Christopher Preston and Tenacious Beasts book cover

Join Vital Ground at April book and film events!

New bear books and film arrive with spring UPDATE (5/2): Thanks to all who attended these great spring events! If ...

Yellowstone’s first grizzly of the year signals spring

By Kayla Heinze, Communications Specialist  Shaking off his snowy slumbers, a grizzly bear emerged from his den in early March ...

Photo: Jacob W. Frank/Yellowstone National Park
Grizzly mother and cub

New Vital Ground partnership offers free, simple way to create a conservation legacy

Introducing FreeWill, a new resource for you and for grizzlies Spring is a special time at Vital Ground. As grizzly ...

Photo: Jamie Scarrow
Grave Creek project and Whitefish Range

Vital Ground, Landowners Conserve Key Grizzly Habitat West of Glacier National Park

Eureka-area Conservation Easement Maintains Northwest Montana Habitat Corridor NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 22, 2023 MISSOULA, Mont. – A rich ...

Steven Freygang photo of grizzly bear crossing highway

The bear who tried to cross the road

Making sense of a famous bear’s death and the future of grizzlies and roadways By Kayla Heinze, Communications Specialist A ...

Photo: Steven Freygang
Hey Bear and Vital Ground staff

Hey Bear continues helping grizzlies and people stay safe

Big Sky partner supports coexistence across the Northern Rockies With the high country of the Northern Rockies still deep in ...

Wolverine in snow

Winter’s warrior: the wolverine is as fragile as it is fierce

By Kayla Heinze, Communications Specialist Picture for a moment, what it is like to be a deer in winter. Towering ...

Grizzly cub at Knight Inlet, B.C.

Top 5 stories of 2022: Another year of momentum for grizzly conservation

Across the Northern Rockies, your support made many wins for wildlife possible! Happy New Year! As we wrap up the ...

Photo: Scott Birmingham
Swan Mountain view from Salmon Prairie

Vital Ground, Landowners Conserve Key Wetland Habitat in Swan Valley

Collaboration with Montana Freshwater Partners Sustains Corridor for Grizzlies, Other Wildlife NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MISSOULA, Mont. — A sizeable ...

Mule deer and quail in forest

“Where the grizzly can walk,” an umbrella of benefits follows

Grizzly bear conservation has positive impacts on entire ecosystems Conservationists have long considered the grizzly bear an ecological umbrella species. ...

Photo: Philip DeManczuk

New software puts researchers “face to face” with bears

By Kayla Heinze, Communications Specialist Last month on the blog we turned our imagination to ancient forests as we explored ...

Photo: courtesy of the BearID Project
Snowy grizzly in Yellowstone NP

Stay Informed to Bring Grizzlies Back to the North Cascades

PUBLIC COMMENT UPDATE (12/21): The public comment period for the first draft of the interagency Environmental Impact Statement is now ...

Photo: Jim Peaco
Brown bear along Knight Inlet, BC

Following Their Footsteps

What We Can Learn from Indigenous Peoples and Bears By Kayla Heinze, Communications Specialist Search the internet for news on ...

Photo: Matt Hart
Fellows Ranch along Rocky Mountain Front

Vital Ground Projects Gain Support Along Rocky Mountain Front

Two Conservation Efforts Will Protect Key Grizzly Habitat Along Teton River For nearly all of their history as a species ...

Photo: Eric Ian
Cattle with mountain background

On the Land, In the Community: Meet Your 2022 Conservation Partners

Collaborations for Coexistence Mean Safer Landscapes for Wildlife and People Much like people, grizzly bears are omnivores and opportunists. Whether ...

Grizzly family in sage

Keeping Bears Connected to Bolster Genetic Diversity

By Kayla Heinze, Communications Specialist In the fall of 1985, five years before Vital Ground was founded, the U.S. Fish ...

Clark Fork River at Donovan Creek confluence

Vital Ground, Yellowstone to Yukon Conserve Key Grizzly Habitat Link in Montana

Conservation Agreement Along Clark Fork River Sustains Crucial Wildlife Corridor NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 30, 2022 MISSOULA, Mont. — ...

Photo: Mitch Doherty
"Beaver's Domain" by Randy Beacham

Support Wildlife with Vital Ground’s Fall Auction!

Sep. 19-23: Help Protect Habitat and Bid on Art, Travel and Much More Fall is nearly here and so is ...

Photo: Randy Beacham
Grizzly eating berries

The Bears and the Berries

Shifting Summer Berry Seasons Require Innovative Safety Measures By Kayla Heinze, Communications Intern Berry season in the Northern Rockies is ...

Photo: Thomas D. Mangelsen
Falls Creek project area

Project Update: Vital Ground, USFS Work to Conserve Key Cabinet Mountain Grizzly Habitat

Falls Creek Conservation Project Seeks Land and Water Conservation Fund Support  Public recreation access and one of the Lower 48’s ...

Photo: Eric Ian
Grizzly sow and cubs in meadow


An Extraordinary Year of Conservation Progress When Vital Ground co-founders Doug and Lynne Seus adopted an orphaned grizzly cub in ...

Kodiak Keep It Wild products

Kodiak Commits in a Big Way to “Keep It Wild”

With Help from Zac Efron, Vital Ground Partner Makes Major Conservation Investment There’s something about grizzly bears that compels the ...

Golden Eagle

Soaring Over Bear Country: The Interconnection of Bird and Grizzly Conservation

By Kayla Heinze, Communications Intern The sun rises over the Beaverhead Sage-steppe in southwestern Montana. Golden light shines down into ...

Photo: courtesy of Glacier National Park
Hey Bear merchandise

Hey Bear: New Vital Ground Partner Raises Bear Awareness

Big Sky Brand Supports Grizzly Conservation and Safety If you’ve ever gone hiking in grizzly country, you’ve probably yelled “Hey ...

Photo: courtesy of Hey Bear
Zac Efron and Tank the Bear

Kodiak Campaigns to “Keep It Wild” With Help From a Star

Zac Efron Supports Grizzly Habitat Conservation After Teaming with Tank the Bear There’s something about grizzly bears that compels the ...

Russell Talmo, Sapphire Mountains

A Day in the Field: Grizzly DNA Monitoring in the Sapphire Mountains

By Lena Beck, Conservation Writing Intern The one-track roads leading from Stevensville, Mont., into the Sapphire Mountains are lined with ...

Aerial image of Vital Ground's Ninemile Crossing project

Connectivity: New Video Underscores Need to Link Wildlife Habitats

Connecting Habitat Strongholds Key to Durable Wildlife Conservation “The greatest threat to wildlife is loss of habitat,” says Vital Ground ...

Wildlife manager demonstrating bear spray use

Bear Spray Saves Lives

Montana Manufacturer Helps Grizzlies and People Stay Safe Bear spray: it’s a proven, essential component in allowing grizzly bears and ...

Photo: Danielle Oyler/Wildlife Management Institute
Hiking in the Rocky Mountains

GrizzTracker: How Citizen Science Could Help Us Understand Grizzly Bears Better

By Lena Beck, Conservation Writing Intern If you’re in Alberta, Canada, you have a unique tool at your disposal to ...

Brittani Rosas

Vital Ground Welcomes Land Steward Brittani Rosas

Vital Ground’s newest staff member is coming home to the landscape she loves. Brittani Rosas began work as Vital Ground’s ...

North Idaho's Bismark Meadows in Selkirk Mountains

Vital Ground Completes Conservation of Key Wetlands and Grizzly Habitat in Northern Idaho

New Land Purchase Caps 20-Year, 1,100-Acre Bismark Meadows Protection Effort NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 29, 2022 MISSOULA, Mont. – ...

Two grizzly bear cubs

Does Climate Change Affect Grizzly Hibernation? Research Indicates the Answer is Yes

By Lena Beck, Conservation Writing Intern On Monday, March 7, Yellowstone National Park reported its first grizzly sighting of the ...

Vital Ground Montana license plate

Earth Day Spotlight: Monte Dolack’s Artwork Helps Protect the Planet

“Great Bear” Painter has Deep Ties to Montana’s Landscapes Every year, the buildup to Earth Day provides a chance to ...

Teton Range and elk

Large-Landscape Conservation: A Key to Achieving Biodiversity Targets

New Study Shows Progress Toward Regional Vision By Lena Beck, Conservation Writing Intern The health of an ecosystem depends on ...

Photo: Lance Schelvan
Grizzly Berry Hard Seltzer

Berries for the Bears: Introducing Grizzly Berry Hard Seltzer!

Vital Ground Collaboration with Sawtooth Brewery to Benefit Habitat Conservation Being a grizzly bear is hot work sometimes. Over the ...

Photo: courtesy of Sawtooth Brewery
Animals' Trail wildlife overpass

Animals are Crossing: Who’s Helping Wildlife Cross Roadways, and What New Federal Funding Could Mean

By Lena Beck, Conservation Writing Intern A grizzly bear dubbed “Lingenpolter” by local biologists caught the attention of many in ...

Bart the Bear II and Doug Seus

For the Love of Bears: Science Education Professor Gives Bart the Bear II’s Last Painting Back to Vital Ground

By Lena Beck, Conservation Writing Intern Every summer, dozens of brown bears gather at Brooks Falls in Alaska’s Katmai National ...

Photo: Lynne Seus
Bad Rock Canyon WMA

In the News: Conservation Victories, Grizzlies and Us, and Much More!

Habitat Wins and Other Stories from Across Grizzly Country Winter has arrived, with snow blanketing the Northern Rockies and bears ...

Photo: courtesy of Flathead Land Trust
grizzlies in snow

Top Stories of 2021: In Unprecedented Times, An Unprecedented Year for Conservation

How You Helped Wildlife More Than Ever in 2021 Happy New Year! As we enter 2022, all of us at ...

Canola field on the Hubbard Farm

Vital Ground, Hubbard Family Conserve Northern Idaho Farmland and Wildlife Habitat

USDA-Backed 1,040-Acre Conservation Agreement Helps Maintain Kootenai Valley Working Lands NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE BONNER’S FERRY, Idaho – At the ...

Fowler Creek North meadow

Vital Ground Adds Acres to Northwestern Montana Conservation Project

Fowler Creek Expansion Secures Wetland Habitat for Yaak Valley Grizzlies NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE YAAK, Mont. – Nestled amid the ...

Forest and meadow at Tamarack Creek Project

Vital Ground Conserves Prized Habitat Outside Glacier National Park

Conservation Agreement Near Fast-Growing Town of Whitefish Saves Key Acres for Grizzlies NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE WHITEFISH, Mont. – A ...

Swan Range view from Simmons Meadow

Vital Ground Expands Swan Valley Conservation Corridor

Land Purchase Stabilizes Key Habitat Connection for Grizzlies NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MISSOULA, Mont. – Grizzly bears in western Montana ...

Bart the Bear II and Doug Seus

Vital Ground Mourns the Passing of Bart the Bear II

Dear Vital Ground community, It is with great sadness that I share the news that our beloved ambassador, Bart the ...

Photo: Lynne Seus
Doug Chadwick and book cover

Four-Fifths a Grizzly: Doug Chadwick to Discuss New Book on December 7

Join the Vital Ground Community for an Online Book Talk and Conservation Conversation UPDATE: Thanks to our 100+ attendees who ...

Meet Black Bear River, Vital Ground’s Newest Business Partner

Look Good and Support Wildlife Conservation with “Apparel for the Adventurous” For many of us in the conservation world, outdoor ...

Photo: courtesy of Black Bear River
Tom Mangelsen photo of bison along river in Yellowstone National Park

Partners on the Land: The Cinnabar Foundation

Longtime Conservation Fund a Crucial Teammate in One Landscape Vision Just as it takes a diverse range of species to ...

Photo: Thomas D. Mangelsen

Mapping One Landscape for Wildlife and People

New Story-Map Illustrates Vision for Wildlife Connectivity If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many is a good ...

Photo of bull moose standing in mountain lake


Moving Forward for Wildlife and People From the coronavirus pandemic to ongoing environmental upheaval, 2020 was a year that challenged ...

Grizzly sow and cubs in wildflower meadow

Kodiak Cakes Furthers Investment in Grizzly Bear Conservation

Vital Ground Business Partner Leads Major Habitat Protection Fundraiser Grizzly bears and pancakes—it sounds like a sticky situation, right? Not ...

Black bear and cherry orchard fence

In the News: Coexistence Partners Hard at Work

Collaborating Against Conflict, and other Conservation Stories As summer progresses, the days grow shorter and bears begin to load up ...

Photo: courtesy of People and Carnivores
Aspen trees and mountains

Vital Ground, Yellowstone to Yukon Conserve Key Habitat in Northwestern Montana Wildlife Corridor

Bull River Land Purchase Sustains Linkage Area for Grizzlies and Other Wildlife NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MISSOULA, Mont. – A ...

Photo: Mitch Doherty
Runner with Scat Belt

Stay Safe and Travel Light with Scat Belt, a New Vital Ground Business Partner

Bear Spray Holster Specialists Help Grizzlies and People Share the Landscape ***UPDATE: To kick off our partnership, Scat Belt is ...

Photo: courtesy of Scat Belt
Grizzly bear mother and cub in Glacier National Park

First Female Grizzly in 40 Years Collared in Washington State

Selkirk Sow Accompanied by Yearling Cubs Grizzly bears have an up-and-down history in the state of Washington. From the Selkirk ...

Photo: Philip DeManczuk
Young Grizzly Crossing Trail

Keeping Up with the Bears: Our 2021 Conservation Partners

Coexistence Work Helps Grizzlies and People Share Landscapes Grizzly bears are not stationary creatures. With a range that historically stretched ...

Bryce Andrews and Rob Chaney headshots

Join Vital Ground, Local Authors for a Night of Bear Talk

Webinar with Grizzly Scribes Bryce Andrews and Robert Chaney Grizzly bears are on the minds of many these days, including ...

Vital Ground, Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust Conserve Key Habitat in Yaak Valley

Fowler Creek Project Maintains Open Space and Connectivity for Grizzlies, Elk, Other Wildlife NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 7, 2021 ...

Photo: Mitch Doherty
Brown bear and cubs

Look Good and Help Protect Habitat on Earth Day!

Support Wildlife with a New Vital Ground Shirt or Hydro Flask! It’s that time of year again, wildlife fans. When ...

Canola field on the Hubbard Farm

Private Land Conservation: The Unexpected Key to 30 by 30

Land Trusts Will Be Key to the Biden Administration’s Big Conservation Goal By Tatum McConnell, Communications Intern With the passage ...

Photo: Kevin Rhoades
North Fork Flathead River sunset west of Glacier National Park Montana

Forest Service, Vital Ground Team Up on Land and Water Conservation Outside Glacier National Park

North Fork Flathead Purchase Maintains Public Access, Wildlife Connectivity NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 3, 2021 POLEBRIDGE, Mont. – The ...

Hiking in the Rocky Mountains

New Study Shows Social Media Data Can Help Grizzly Bears

By Tatum McConnell, Communications Intern When I think of grizzly bear research, social media apps aren’t exactly a prime data ...

Bart the Bear in Kodiak Cakes ad

Bart the Bear II and Kodiak Cakes Team Up as Lumberjacks

New Ad Touts Healthy Breakfast with Help from “Fluffy” Bear Every lumberjack needs a few things for a great day ...

Muddy grizzly

A Grizzly on Vital Ground: Bear 1017’s Story

By Tatum McConnell and Matt Hart Wildlife biology can get messy. As messy as, say, being waist deep in water, ...

Lone grizzly in forest

A Bear of a Year: Our Top Conservation Stories From 2020

From the coronavirus pandemic to ongoing environmental upheaval, 2020 was a year that challenged the persistence of people and wildlife ...

Elk in snow

Give Back to Wildlife This Holiday Season!

Help the Bart the Bear Memorial Campaign Reach a $60,000 Match! The winter solstice has passed, grizzly bears are snug ...

Photo: Lance Schelvan
Kootenai River and Wild River project site

Vital Ground, Yellowstone to Yukon Strengthen Protection of Key Montana Wildlife Corridor

New Land Purchase Bolsters Kootenai Valley Conservation Investments News for Immediate Release December 18, 2020 MISSOULA, Mont. – The Vital ...

Photo: Eric Ian
Grizzly bears on riverbank + Giving Tuesday logo

Protect Vital Habitat for Wildlife on Giving Tuesday

At the end of a long year, help connect the landscape for future generations. Grizzly bears are heading to their ...

Wolverine in forest

How to Save Biodiversity: A Conversation with Dr. Jodi Hilty

Unpacking the Science and Human Dynamics of Landscape Conservation By Tatum McConnell, Communications Intern If you’re subscribed to our snail-mail ...

Photo of grizzly bear and aspens in fall color

Lolo Creek Grizzly Sighting a Good Sign for Connectivity

Male Bear the Latest to Return to Historic Range in the Bitterroots Earlier this fall, shortly after Vital Ground celebrated ...

Field and foggy mountains

Vital Ground Welcomes New Business Partners!

GREENROCK Batteries and Grizzly Broadband Support Wildlife Conservation Business partners are a key part of Vital Ground’s collaborative push toward ...

Brown bear and cubs in Katmai NP

Lipids and Long Winters: The Science of Fat Bear Week

By Tatum McConnell, Communications Intern If you follow the U.S. National Park Service’s official Facebook account, a post from October ...

Photo: Larry Aumiller
The Vital Ground Foundation's One Landscape Initiative - video still

Landscape Vision: New Film Shows Potential for a Connected Northern Rockies

One Landscape Initiative Pairs Wildlife Science, Partnerships NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: MISSOULA, Mont. – From Wyoming to British Columbia, ...

Chief Mountain and Glacier National Park from the Blackfeet Indian Reservation

Blackfeet Nation and Vital Ground Protect Key Habitat Near Glacier National Park

Kennedy Creek Project Conserves Land and Water for Grizzlies, Bull Trout, Other Wildlife NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: MISSOULA, ...

Doug Seus and Bart the Bear

Help Celebrate 30 Years of Conservation — From Afar!

Thirty years and over 620,000 acres of conservation. We couldn’t have done any of it without supporters like you. So ...

Photo: Keith Highley
Hiker and landscape in Glacier National Park


One Landscape for Wildlife and People Wildlife broke new ground in 2019. Grizzly bears ranged farther into the mountains of ...

Grizzly tracks on a beach

Bear Safety Part 3: Tracking Grizzlies

By Tatum McConnell, Communications Intern In the northwestern U.S., our mountains, valleys, and waterways teem with life, but any intrepid ...

Photo: Larry Aumiller
Kintla Lake, Glacier National Park

Signed! Great American Outdoors Act a Win for Wildlife and People

New Bill Supports Land and Water Conservation Fund, Helps Build a Resilient Landscape By Matt Hart During a time of ...

Hubbard Farm

Crossing the Kootenai: Idaho Linkage Project Gains Momentum

Conservation Easement Backed by Farm Bill and Resilient Landscapes Initiative By Matt Hart At the top of Idaho’s Panhandle, the ...

Photo: Kevin Rhoades
Bear-proof garbage

Bear Safety Part 2: Bear-Proofing Your Home

By Tatum McConnell and Matt Hart NOTE: This is Part 2 in our Bear Safety blog series. To read Part ...

Photo: Patti Sowka
Recreating outdoors in the Rocky Mountains

Vital Ground Committed to Diversity and Equity in Conservation

A message from the Vital Ground team: Vital Ground knows that we can do much more to make our conservation ...

Hiker in Glacier National Park

Bear Safety Part 1: Out and About in Grizzly Country

By Tatum McConnell, Communications Intern From spring through fall in the Northern Rockies, grizzlies and people share the landscape. Whether ...

Photo: Lance Schelvan
Young grizzly crossing road

Life on the Brink: The Unsettling Numbers About How Grizzly Bears Die

By Tatum McConnell, Communications Intern There’s a hard truth about grizzly bears in the Lower 48. When adult bears die, ...

Bismark Meadows wetlands

Vital Ground Responds to COVID-19

During Trying Times, We Look to the Land in Gratitude Dear friends of Vital Ground, Healthy communities and healthy landscapes ...

Photo: Linda Lantzy
Yaak River in Broadie Habitat Preserve

Safe in the Valley: Vital Ground, Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust Protect Key Grizzly Habitat in Yaak

Broadie Habitat Preserve Keeps Open Key River Corridor NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 30, 2020 MISSOULA, Mont.—Tucked amid the rugged ...

Photo: Mitch Doherty
Kloe and Murray, her stuffed grizzly

Supporter Spotlight: From Stuffed Bears to Saving Habitat

Meet Kloe, a Young Conservationist Making a Big Difference By Tatum McConnell, Communications Intern A little while back, Vital Ground ...

Canada lynx in deep snow

Winter Wildlife Pt. 3: The Ecology of Canada Lynx and Snowshoe Hare

By Tatum McConnell, Communications Intern Canada lynx are among the rarest wildlife species to spot. Perhaps you’ve gotten lucky and ...

Glacier National Park peaks from North Fork Valley

Project Update: Partnering to Protect the Gateway to Glacier

Vital Ground, Forest Service Conserving Key Habitat and Public Access Wildlife don’t know the difference between public and private land. ...

Photo: Mitch Doherty
Beavers on ice

Winter Wildlife Pt. 2: Beavers Under the Ice

By Tatum McConnell, Communications Intern Beavers can chop down massive trees and build incredible structures, with the world’s largest beaver ...

Photo: Paul Lueders
Elk in spring habitat sunlit forest

Protect Wildlife with a Charitable Donation from Your IRA

By Kim Davitt, Vital Ground Development Director If you are passionate about wildlife conservation and believe in Vital Ground’s work ...

Photo: Lance Schelvan
Beaver in stream

Stewardship Update: Restoring Wetlands—and Beavers—to Bismark Meadows

By Kali Becher, Land Steward On a cold October morning I’m hauling piles of willow limbs while others chip away ...

Winter landscape with aspen trees and mountains

Winter Wildlife Pt. 1: Bugs in the Snow

While Grizzly Bears Slumber, What’s Everyone Else Up To? By Tatum McConnell, Communications Intern Hiking up a snowed-out road recently, ...

Photo: Lance Schelvan
Grizzly bear in snow

Hibernation: What’s Going on for Grizzly Bears in Winter?

By Tatum McConnell, Communications Intern Making your bed can be a pain, and nobody knows that better than the grizzly ...

Grizzly sow and cub in Glacier National Park

A Year of Momentum for Wildlife: Top Stories of 2019

In 2019, wildlife biologists tracked a young grizzly’s historic summer wanderings in the Bitterroot Mountains of Idaho. Other bears were ...

Mission range and yellow larch trees from Elk Flats area

Vital Ground and Quinn Family Protect Grizzly Bear Movement with Swan Valley Conservation Easement

Partners Missoula County and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Help Conserve Key Wildlife Corridor News for Immediate Release January 2, ...

Photo: Kevin Rhoades
Wild River corridor along the Kootenai River

Vital Ground and Yellowstone to Yukon Protect Key Habitat Along Kootenai River

New Land Purchase Strengthens Cabinet-Purcell Wildlife Corridor MISSOULA, Mont. – The Vital Ground Foundation and Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative ...

Photo: Y2Y/Gem River Productions
Brown bear with salmon

Grizzly Ecology Pt. 3: Bears, Fish, and Trees

By Tatum McConnell, Communications Intern Grizzly bears live within incredible systems of interaction. For our last post of the grizzly ...

North Idaho's Bismark Meadows in Selkirk Mountains

Patagonia Matching December Donations to Vital Ground!

UPDATE: As on December 16, Patagonia has reached its $10 million nationwide maximum for matching gifts. You can still donate ...

Root weevils at Vital Ground's Wild River Project

Bugs Fight Invasive Knapweed at Wild River

By Kali Becher, Land Steward Once Vital Ground purchases a piece of habitat or closes on a conservation easement with ...

Photo: Kali Becher
Coastal brown bear sow and cub

Searching for Salmon

Low Canadian Salmon Runs Cause Concern for Grizzly Population By Tatum McConnell, Communications Intern This story also appears as the ...

Photo: Robert Scriba
Glen Willow Ranch on Montana's Rocky Mountain Front

Vital Ground Renews National Land Trust Accreditation

Certification Recognizes Durable, Accountable Land Stewardship MISSOULA, Mont. — Americans strongly support saving the open spaces they love. Since 1990, ...

Photo: Mitch Doherty
Grizzly Story Map Screen Shot

Vital Ground, Forest Service Team Up on Threatened and Endangered Species Story Map

CLICK HERE TO GO STRAIGHT TO THE STORY MAP What stories light your conservation fire? Is it the tale of ...

Grizzly bear on foggy beach


Connecting One Landscape for Wildlife and People It’s a time of rapid change in the Mountain West. Increasing development and ...

Glacier Lily

Grizzly Ecology Pt. 2: Bears and Dirt

How Grizzly Bear Digging Shapes Mountain Meadows By Tatum McConnell, Vital Ground Communications Intern We climbed up Napa Point, approaching ...

Photo: courtesy of Glacier National Park
Grizzly Bear foraging in deadfall forest in Yellowstone National Park

Grizzly Ecology Pt. 1: Bears and Bugs

The Macro and the Micro: How Grizzly Bears and Insects Interact By Tatum McConnell, Vital Ground Communications Intern We often ...

Photo: Paul Lueders
Grizzly bear mother and cub in Glacier National Park

From Chicago to Montana, An Unlikely Conservation Partnership Bears Fruit

Brookfield Zookeepers Walk on Vital Ground, Continue Support of Wildlife Habitat Conservation A big-city zoo in the Midwest might seem ...

North Fork Flathead River sunset west of Glacier National Park Montana

Keeping it Wild Next to Glacier National Park

Vital Ground Backs Flathead Land Trust on Conservation Win in Montana’s North Fork Valley A grizzly bear doesn’t know the ...

Photo of male pronghorn antelope in sage brush

Bipartisan Coalition Introduces Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act

New Bill Would Protect Habitat Links and Migration Routes on Public and Private Lands If you’ve been losing sleep over ...

Photo: Paul Lueders
Range Rider in Montana valley

Conservation Partners Help Dispersing Grizzlies Stay Safe

New Partnerships Address Crucial Priority Areas for Preventing Bear Conflicts Each spring, there’s a subset of grizzly bears that act ...

Photo: Louise Johns
Mountain landscape; Connecting Open Space for Wildlife and People

The One Landscape Initiative: A New Conservation Vision

UPDATE (Oct. 2021): View Vital Ground’s New One Landscape Story-Map! — Vast open spaces. Free-flowing rivers. A diverse tapestry of ...

Tom Mangelsen photo of bison along river in Yellowstone National Park

UN Extinction Report Shows Importance of Protecting Wildlife Habitat

Connecting a Wild Landscape in the Northern Rockies Mitigates Impacts of Climate Change and Development If you follow news on ...

Photo: Thomas D. Mangelsen
Jim Soft

Seldom-Used Tax Strategy Can Benefit You, Wildlife Habitat, and Vital Ground

By Jim Soft, Planned Giving Specialist We are currently experiencing a sustained, historic low interest rate environment, which presents an ...

Overhead photo of Wild River property along the Kootenai River

Celebrate Earth Day by Saving Wildlife Habitat

Make an Impact This Earth Day; Support Habitat Conservation at Wild River! Across the globe since 1970, April 22 has ...

Alvord Lake Montana autumn photo

Vital Ground and Alvord Lake Stakeholders Plan Community Forest Stewardship

By Kali Becher, Vital Ground Land Steward Forest thinning, prescribed burning, and education were hot conversation topics on March 6, ...

Photo: Ryan Lutey
Glen Willow Ranch Montana

Glen Willow: A Land Legacy Protected!

Vital Ground Partners with USDA and Landowner to Safeguard Montana Agricultural Land and Wildlife Habitat CHOTEAU, Mont. – When Mary ...

Photo: Herrera
Park City, Utah beautiful mountain view at sunset

Vacation in Utah and Protect Wildlife Habitat!

A generous supporter offers a week’s stay at Deer Valley in Park City, Utah, to benefit Vital Ground When: March ...

The Bond painting, giant grizzly bear and trainer, Doug Seus and Bart

Artist Georgia Baker Honors Compassion in Painting of Bart the Bear and Doug Seus

Grizzly bears have a way of stirring up our emotions. Whether it’s fear, gratitude, joy or awe–or some combination of ...

Steven Freygang photo of grizzly bear crossing highway

Out of Yellowstone, Onto the Highway

Idaho Weighing Options for Targhee Pass Wildlife Safety On a busy highway west of Yellowstone National Park, what’s the best ...

Photo: Steven Freygang
Glacier National Park mountain with field and forest, Lance Schelvan photo

Vital Ground Applies for Renewal of Land Trust Accreditation

Did you know that Vital Ground is one of 411 land trusts accredited by The Land Trust Accreditation Commission? This ...

Photo: Lance Schelvan
Grizzly on bear-proof garbage container

Sharing the Land: New Study Shows Benefits of Preventing Grizzly Conflicts

Research Led by Vital Ground Advisor Backs Active Mitigation Programs Studying grizzly bears demands patience. For one, the bears, like ...

Photo: Patti Sowka
Grizzly bear and cub on snowy winter ridge

What a Year! Our Top Stories of 2018

From protecting three key habitat areas to a dozen new conflict-prevention partnerships, from the delisting debate to a grizzly sighting ...

I-90 Bridge and Clark Fork River at Ninemile project site Montana

Vital Ground and Yellowstone to Yukon Safeguard Habitat Link Across Clark Fork River and Interstate 90

Land Purchase Protects Movement Between Ninemile and Bitterroot Ranges NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 14, 2018 MISSOULA, Mont.—A key wildlife ...

Photo: Herrera
River with mountains on stormy fall day, Bart the Bear Memorial Campaign

You Can Join Doug and Lynne Seus in Protecting Wildlife!

A Letter from Vital Ground’s Founders on the 19th Annual Bart the Bear Memorial Campaign Dear friends, It’s the time ...

Bismark Meadows in northern Idaho

Vital Ground Teams With The ALSAM Foundation to Protect Key Idaho Grizzly Habitat

New 455-acre Purchase Adds to Conservation Success at Bismark Meadows NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 19, 2018 Grizzly bears and ...

Photo: Linda Lantzy
Wild River corridor along the Kootenai River

Vital Ground and Yellowstone to Yukon Safeguard a Key Montana Wildlife Corridor

Land Purchase Eases Bottleneck for Grizzly Movement in the Kootenai Valley NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 14, 2018 MISSOULA, Mont. ...

Photo: Y2Y/Gem Vision Productions
Forest in fall with river; Vital Ground’s Wild River Projec

Wild River: A Protected Connection

When Grizzly 839 began wandering away from the Cabinet Mountains in northwest Montana, he showed no interest in traveling north. ...

Photo: Mitch Doherty
Fall Grizzly in Yellowstone -- photo by Tom Mangelsen

Grizzly Delisting: What You Should Know

Taking Stock of Grizzly Recovery After 2018’s Delisting Debate During the fall of 2018, grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone ...

Photo: Thomas D. Mangelsen
Stormy clouds over beautiful mountain scene; Vital Ground is an accredited land trust

Vital Ground Applies for Renewal of Accreditation

  The land trust accreditation program recognizes land conservation organizations that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places ...

Grizzly Blend Coffee

Montana Coffee Traders and Vital Ground Celebrate a 25-year Partnership!

For Each Pound of Grizzly Blend Coffee Sold, a Percentage is Donated to Vital Ground Twenty-five years is a long ...

Thomas D. Mangelsen photo of grizzly sow and cub lying amid sagebrush on a hillside in Yellowstone National Park

In Yellowstone Attack, Bear Spray Saves Lives

Family Rented Spray, Got Training from Vital Ground Promotional Partner By Matt Hart On Thursday, August 23, a parent’s nightmare ...

Photo: Thomas Mangelsen
Brookfield AAZK Members

Grizzlies and Garlic Bread: Thank You, Brookfield AAZK!

Spaghetti Dinner Raises Funds for Grizzly Conservation There are no wild bears in Chicago—unless you’re talking about the football team—but ...

Photo: Courtesy of Brookfield AAZK
Kali Becher

Vital Ground Welcomes Land Steward Kali Becher

Vital Ground’s newest staff member, Kali Becher, is no stranger to grizzly country. Growing up in North Idaho, she came ...

Bismark Meadows wetlands

Stand Up For The Wild: Help Conserve Bismark Meadows

Be a part of Vital Ground’s first crowdfunded conservation project! And save critical grizzly habitat at Bismark Meadows in the ...

Photo: Linda Lantzy
"Nature Wars" by Jim Sterba

‘Nature Wars’ Author to Speak August 7th in Ellsworth, Maine

Author Jim Sterba will speak about the growing conflicts between wildlife and people on August 7th at 7 p.m., at ...

Grizzly cub in culvert trap

With Help From Vital Ground Board Chair, Orphan Grizzlies Find New Home

NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 5, 2018 Contact: Kevin Rhoades, Communications Director The Vital Ground Foundation (406) 549-8650 MISSOULA, Mont. ...

Photo: Klara Varga
Bismark Meadows

Bismark Meadows: Help Save Crucial Spring Grizzly Habitat

New Vital Ground Project Will Protect 455 Acres of Idaho Wetlands As spring turns to summer, grizzly bears in Idaho’s ...

Photo: Linda Lantzy
Bear wedding cake

Celebrate and Conserve

Make Your Next Special Occasion a Rally for Wildlife! Hi, friends—Matt here, the young guy on the Vital Ground team. ...

Trail camera photo of sow grizzly and two cubs at a hair corral study site in the Cabinet-Yaak Ecosystem

Translocation Troubles: New Study Shows Risks of Moving Grizzlies

By Matt Hart Moving grizzly bears is no easy task. It’s far better to let them move themselves. That’s the ...

Photo: Wayne Kasworm/U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Overhead photo of Wild River property along the Kootenai River

Help Protect and Connect the Right Places for Wildlife

  We don’t need to save thousands and thousands of acres — just those acres in exactly the right place ...

Young Grizzly Crossing Trail

More Than a Problem Bear

How a Young Grizzly’s Relocation Could Help a Whole Ecosystem By Matt Hart There’s a new griz in the Cabinet-Yaak ...

Photo: Jim Cole
Photo of grizzly bear and aspens in fall color

Keeping Bears Out of Trouble

Expanded Vital Ground Partners Program to Fund 12 Conflict-Prevention Projects in 2018 NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Updated May 4, 2018 ...

Yaak Mountains

Roadless and Wild

How You Helped Save Vital Acres in the Cabinet Mountains By Matt Hart Forty-three acres: it may not seem like ...

Photo: Lance Schelvan
Photo of ranchland and houses beneath mountain range

Montana’s Housing Boom: What Does it Mean For Wildlife?

With a new report detailing residential sprawl, conserving private lands is more vital than ever.  By Matt Hart When you ...

Grizzly bear in sagebrush

Vital Ground, The ALSAM Foundation Team Up to Address Human Conflicts with Grizzly Bears

Five-Year, $250,000 Partnership Will Expand Vital Ground Grant Program Communities throughout the northern Rocky Mountains will find new help in ...

Photo of valley fog and jagged ridges in the North Cascades

Grizzlies Inch Closer to a Comeback in North Cascades

Steep, remote mountainsides. Deep winter snowpack. Lush meadows full of spring and summer wildflowers. The North Cascades of Washington state ...

Vital Ground's new website

New Vital Ground Website Stresses Connecting Landscapes, Protecting Wildlife

Viewer-friendly overhaul includes new videos, featured projects and partnerships MISSOULA, Mont. – Grizzly bears everywhere have a new and beautiful ...

Brookfield American Association of Zoo Keepers

Brookfield AAZK Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser

Fundraiser for The Vital Ground Foundation on April 12, 2018 Brookfield, Ill., is the home of the Brookfield American Association ...

Larry Aumiller headshot

In Wild Trust: An Evening with Larry Aumiller

On Wednesday, March 7, Larry Aumiller will share stories and photographs from his 30 years managing Alaska’s McNeil River Game ...

Kevin Rhoades photo of the Mission Mountains from Ninepipes Reservoir

New Conservation Partners Extend Vital Ground’s Conflict Prevention Goals

Grizzly bears are on the move. In the last year, we’ve seen more and more evidence of grizzly travel beyond ...

Photo: Kevin Rhoades
Vital Ground Connected Landscapes logo in brown and white

Vital Ground Unveils “Connecting Landscapes” Logo

News for Immediate Release January 26, 2018 MISSOULA, Mont. – As part of a larger rebranding process that will draw ...

Photo of Bart the Bear II waving from the set of his new Kodiak Cakes advertisement

Vital Ground, Kodiak Cakes Team Up for Grizzly Conservation

News for Immediate Release January 19, 2018 MISSOULA, Mont. – Your Saturday morning pancakes can now support grizzly bear conservation, ...

Photo: courtesy of Kodiak Cakes
Photo of autumn snow dusting forested ridges in the Lolo National Forest's Cube Iron-Mt. Silcox Roadless Area

Vital Ground Donates Roadless Inholding to Lolo National Forest

News for Immediate Release MISSOULA, Mont. – To consolidate ownership and streamline management of a valuable roadless area for grizzly ...

Photo: Gael Bissell
Cameron Nace and the Vital Ground crew.

Inspiration from Cameron: ‘Grizzly Bears Need Vital Ground’

After many days in the office, it can be easy to forget why we do what we do here at ...

Photo: Michael Jindrich
Photo of Luke Lamar from Swan Valley Bear Resources setting up an electric fence for domestic goats in the Swan Valley

Swan Valley Bear Resources: Stopping Conflicts Before They Happen

The Swan Valley is where it all began for Vital Ground. Our very first conservation easement happened in this portion ...

Photo: Luke Lamar/Swan Valley Bear Resources
Close-up photo of weevil on tree bark

Vital Ground Fights Noxious Weeds with Bugs

By Mitch Doherty The Alvord Lake Community Forest is a long way from the warm, exotic climate found in the ...

Photo: iStock

Posts by Category

Posts by Month