CONFLICT PREVENTION PROJECT:

Blackfoot Challenge

One of the West’s longest-running collaboratives helping people and wildlife share the landscape.

Photo by Jeremy Roberts/Conservation Media.
Photo by Kevin Rhoades.
Montana's Blackfoot Valley
 
Montana's Blackfoot Valley
 
Photo by Kevin Rhoades.
Photo by Jeremy Roberts/Conservation Media.

Blackfoot Challenge PROJECT BRIEF

The Blackfoot Challenge does it all in their vital region of central Montana, providing essential on-the-ground services that ensure the coexistence of wildlife and agriculture—two sides of the Blackfoot Valley’s rich heritage.

The Blackfoot Challenge is a collaborative of local landowners and conservationists who facilitate the longest-running Range Rider program in the country—not to mention winter carnivore monitoring, human-bear conflict reduction programs, and scientific studies within communities. Each summer, range riders monitor livestock and predators across 40,000 acres of rugged country, checking herd health, updating ranchers and community members on wolf and grizzly travel, and detecting and removing carcasses from high-risk sites.

After helping fund the range rider program in past year’s, our 2020 partnership will support improved electric fencing at one of the Challenge’s composting sites for livestock carcasses and roadkill. These attractants are often a gateway drug that lures a bear into future trouble with people and their quick, successful removal from the landscape is vital to coexistence.

Blackfoot Challenge at a Glance

  • Conservation cooperative based in Ovando, Mont.
  • Work throughout 1.5-million acre Blackfoot Watershed
  • Range Rider Program monitors livestock and predators across 40,000 remote acres
  • Other programs include winter carnivore monitoring and community bear-aware education