A NEW ERA OF THREATS TO MONTANA'S WILDLIFE
WILDLIFE ANIMATES THE MONTANA LANDSCAPE
Montana’s land and water, while magnificent to behold, would be impoverished without the wildlife that populates our forests, plains, mountains, rivers and lakes. In addition to our treasured big game and sportfish species, Montana harbors hundreds of other species – from prairie songbirds to alpine amphibians – that define our wildlife heritage.
PHOTO BY MT AUDUBON
MOST MONTANANS DON'T KNOW THAT THEIR TAX DOLLARS DO NOT SUPPORT WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT OR HABITAT ACQUISITION AND ACCESS IMPROVEMENTS.
Land and water conservation purchases are crucial for the protection of wildlife habitat. At the same time, Montana’s wildlife legacy faces a new era of threats that require a wide array of conservation actions in addition to habitat conservation.
The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, like most wildlife agencies in the United States, is funded primarily by hunting and fishing license fees and federal excise taxes on hunting and fishing gear. This means that hunters and anglers have carried the burden for financing wildlife conservation programs that benefits all Montanans.
Weeds, invasive aquatic species, wildlife diseases, and increasing droughts, fires and floods are making wildlife management more complex and expensive. In order to address these growing threats, wildlife managers need to be able to restore wildlife populations, manage and modify habitats, and prevent conflicts between people and wildlife populations. They also need to be able to collect more scientific information and conduct inventories to assess species status. Finally, there is also a growing need for more opportunities for people to participate in wildlife watching and other wildlife-based recreation.