PHOTO BY DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE
In some fast-growing areas of Montana, more people are choosing to settle in the wildlife-urban interface. In other areas of the state, long-time residents are experiencing growing or recovering wildlife populations. Either situation can result in increasing conflict between people and the wildlife that live on the landscape, including grizzly bears, elk, wolves, deer and mountain lions, to name a few. Managing these conflicts in way that benefits both people and wildlife requires a significant financial investment in educational resources and wildlife management staff on the ground. Relying solely on license revenue, federal grants, or biennial state legislative appropriations can cause funding uncertainties, and challenges to human-wildlife conflict management.
In addition to habitat protection, the recovery of some key at-risk/endangered wildlife species will demand greater attention to reducing conflicts between wildlife and humans, including everything from livestock depredation to vehicle mortality to conflicts in recreational areas. Addressing these conflicts will require more capacity for FWP to conduct education/outreach and implement targeted management programs.
PHOTO BY MT AUDUBON
EXPECTED & MEASURABLE OUTCOMES
Increased, reliable funding for human-wildlife conflict programs will result in:
A notable reduction over time in human-wildlife conflict.
A quicker response time by department staff to landowner-wildlife conflict.
A reduction over time in wildlife-related vehicle collisions through identifying and addressing key impact areas.
A notable reduction over time in the need for lethal wildlife conflict resolution.