Extension Wildlife Program Montana State University
Private working lands comprise nearly 65% of Montana’s 93 million acres play a critical role in securing future energy, water, food, and fiber for an ever-expanding human population. They are also more essential than ever in stabilizing land use, fighting climate change, and providing invaluable ecosystem services (wildlife habitat, water quality, soil health, etc.); making them an integral part to what makes Montana special, including clean air and water, connected open spaces, abundant wildlife. Thus, maintaining and conserving rural working lands is an absolute necessity if society cares about ecosystem values and quality recreational experiences, but so too is proper land management and stewardship. Wildlife and recreation should not be a by-product of land management practices, nor should it be a liability concern either. Rather they should be assets and planned products.
The MSU Wildlife Management Program responds to immediate needs within local areas and proactively anticipates future challenges and opportunities at local, state, regional, and national levels. Educational programs are based on the latest research information. The program vigorously strives to maintain the highest standards of objectivity and professional credibility. Five major audiences are targeted: 1) county/reservation Extension faculty, 2) range livestock producers, 3) government agency personnel, 4) smaller acreage landowners, and 5) youth and the urban public.
Rattlesnake Safe in Montana
Adult Prairie Rattlesnake. Photo credit Ryan Borgman
"Spring through fall is a magical time in Montana for the outdoor enthusiast. However, it is also a great time for snakes done hunkering down for the winter, making human encounters more likely. For many, snakes evoke feelings of uneasiness to outright panic. Montana only has 10 native snake species, of which, only the Prairie Rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis) is venomous"...
Working Across the Rural-Urban Divide: Messaging for Large Carnivore Conflict Reduction
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) wolf biologist, Abby Nelson, and landowners install turbo fladry in Tom Miner Basin.
Photo by Louise Johns.
"Conflicts between large carnivores and livestock can be polarizing. The words used by people providing assistance around large carnivore-livestock conflict reduction can either further polarize a sensitive situation or bring people together in a common purpose around common goals, including reducing livestock losses and stewarding the land and improving wildlife habitat"...
Montana PBS - Montana AG Live "Wild pigs have crossed the border from neighboring areas, and are being reported in a number of parts of Montana. Where did they come from, what's the result, and what can or should be done about it? We'll also take a look at some other large native species and their interaction with the State's agriculture" (Montana PBS).
2020 Fall by Jared Beaver Jared Beaver is the MSU Extension Wildlife Specialist.
"Grizzly bear populations across Montana are rapidly growing and expanding into historic ranges. This expansion increases the likelihood of human-bear conflict, especially during hunting season, because while there are many well-documented safety practices for recreating in grizzly country, being visible and making as much noise as possible isn’t the best approach for a hunter. At least not a successful one. As hunters, we put ourselves inherently more at risk of a dangerous bear encounter. We’re more active in low light conditions, trying to remain hidden, move quietly, sound and smell as much like game as possible, and we are in the field when the bears are most active and calorie loading for the winter (hyperphagia). So, what can hunters do to be more bear aware during the hunting season?..."