2020 Working Wild Challenge Policy Recommendations COVER

WLA hosts twice monthly practitioners calls where ranchers talk with ranchers. While these calls began in March 2020 as a discussion of effective implementation of conflict reduction practices, they turned towards depredation reporting and compensation in September as part of a collaborative research project between WLA and Colorado State University. The group continued policy related discussion in October and November resulting in these recommendations.

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Working Wild Challenge Policy Recommendations

Working lands stitch together the patchwork of land ownership that creates the character of the American West – open space, valued by both people and wildlife. Many rural communities have relied on an economy of agriculture for generations. Wildlife require vast open space agriculture provides for seasonal migrations or less frequent movements that maintain gene flow between otherwise separate populations. In some cases, the presence of wildlife threatens the economic viability of the very working lands on which they depend by making the margins even more slim and the variability inherent within agriculture even greater. An alternative to agriculture, the development of private working lands motivated by the desire to see open vistas out every window threatens to forever alter the character of the American West – the open space and the wildlife that depend on it.

Here we seek to share ideas to support the economic viability of these wild working lands that provide habitat and livelihoods for many. As wolves spread across the Northern Rockies the three S’s – shoot, shovel and shut up – were shouted or whispered widely. Now 25 years after wolves were first reintroduced into Yellowstone Park, the conversation has changed. With 25 years of adaptation experience, stewards of working wild landscapes agree the four C’s – conflict prevention, control, compensation, and collaboration – contain the solutions that allow both people and wildlife to thrive.

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Range Riding Producer Tool Kit

Range riding is a long-used and flexible practice, making it a beneficial conflict reduction tool for use in diverse, ever-changing western landscapes. The overarching goal of range riding for predator…

Electric Fencing Producer Tool Kit

Fencing, turbo fladry and electric drive over mats are tools that can be used to deter conflict through exclusion of large carnivores and/or containment of livestock. These temporary, semi-permanent or…

Carcass Management Producer Tool Kit

Across the West, carcass management is increasingly recognized as an important part of systems-based livestock and predator conflict prevention efforts and for its role in increasing human safety on the…

A road map to place-based collaboration for conflict reduction

Place-based collaborative groups offer a means to coordinate community-scale action to address wildlife-livestock conflicts, and processes to lift landowner and livestock producer needs, while finding areas of agreement and shared…

Agricultural Water Users’ Preferences for Addressing Water Shortages in the Colorado River Basin

The Colorado River Basin is in crisis. There is no longer enough water for all of those who depend on it. The agricultural sector is the largest water user in…

A Farm Bill that works for the West

WLA’s 2023 Farm Bill Platform There are many threats facing working lands in the West today, from drought and fire to economic challenges to increasingly intense development pressure. With every…

2023 National Policy Platform

As landowners and land managers, we recognize that well-managed working lands are the cornerstones of both human communities and the ecosystems on which we all depend. We know what it…

Western water conservation and drought mitigation on private working lands

Policy opportunities in the farm bill and beyond The western United States continues to face extended and increasingly severe drought conditions that threaten municipal and agricultural water supplies, energy production,…

Letter to NRCS Re: Non-lethal predator risk management

In this letter signed by hundreds of producers from around the West, we ask USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service staff to consider “technical and financial assistance to support producer-implemented natural…

Supporting Working Lands and Wildlife with the Four C’s

Policy Recommendations from the Conflict Reduction Consortium Across the western US, iconic wildlife like elk, deer, grizzly bears, and wolves share lands with humans and their livestock. This comes with…

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