Vast open spaces. Free-flowing rivers. A diverse tapestry of plant and animal life. In the Northern Rockies, wild places and iconic wildlife still abound.
Vital Ground is launching One Landscape, a groundbreaking initiative to protect and connect forever this majestic, intact landscape and the wildlife that call it home.
As persistent development and climate change threaten the open space and wild species that set this region apart, the time to act is now. From grizzly bears and cougars to elk and humans, we all need room to roam. That’s why we’re asking you to help save our region’s One Landscape for future generations of wildlife and people.
Connecting Vital Habitat for Wildlife and People
Since 1970, the world’s human population has doubled. For wildlife, it’s the opposite—in less than 50 years, the number of species on Earth has been cut in half.
The Northern Rockies and Inland Northwest are a rare holdout from this trend. Our region remains home to most of the diverse species that were here when Lewis and Clark explored 200 years ago.
If we want this rich wildlife community and majestic mountain landscape to remain intact for the next 200 years, the time to protect it is now. Vital Ground’s One Landscape initiative will permanently connect the wild strongholds of our region. By maintaining protected corridors across the landscape, our efforts will sustain movement, allowing animals to adapt to changing environmental conditions and improve the health of the ecosystems they inhabit.
Leading the way is the grizzly. By protecting the pathways that connect the Great Bear’s range, we connect and protect land for all wildlife, from the threatened Canada lynx and bull trout to the plants and people who also thrive amid open space.
One Landscape isn’t starting from scratch; it’s a sharpened focus on protecting absolutely vital habitat areas. Rather than pursuing projects across all of grizzly country, we’re honing in on the habitat grizzlies and other wildlife will need most as they reconnect their homelands, and on those places where conflict prevention work will keep bears out of trouble, now and into the future.
Recently, more than 60 federal, state and tribal biologists and wildlife managers from across the region helped Vital Ground identify and prioritize the conservation opportunities before us. This planning pinpoints 188,000 habitat acres and 21 conflict-prevention areas of strongest need. Now, with your help, it’s time to get to work.
Where You Can Lead Us
One Landscape is the most ambitious undertaking in Vital Ground’s 29-year history, but its success will rely on the same conservation work our supporters and partners have already helped Vital Ground accomplish. Our priority locations range from 200-5,000 acres—but protecting them will ripple across far larger expanses as we connect existing wild cores by securing linkages.
Along the rooftop of the Lower 48 and southern Canada, your support will safeguard wildlife movement between the Selkirk and Cabinet-Yaak areas, where grizzlies persist only in small sub-populations and wolverine, lynx, elk and moose also traverse a rugged mountain landscape.
Farther south, you can help protect pathways between the Northern Continental Divide, Bitterroot and Greater Yellowstone ecosystems. Grizzlies are already dispersing from the growing populations in and around Glacier and Yellowstone national parks. Protecting linkage habitat through the Bitterroot and the mountains of southwestern Montana will enable bears, wolves, cougars and other species to finally reconnect this wild countryside.
Picture it: a landscape where sustainability wins out over unchecked development. Where animals can move safely around our towns and working lands while communities invest in coexistence with wild species.
Whether it supports the conservation of linkage habitat or helps a community share the land with wildlife, whether it protects a tenth of an acre or ten thousand, your contribution to One Landscape will carry real impact. You’ll join a growing coalition of visionary supporters who care about the long-term health of this region and all the creatures that call it home. You will lead the charge to protect and connect this place for future generations.