Working Wild Challenge Coordinator
Alex leads WLA’s Working Wild Challenge, an initiative bringing together ranchers, agency personnel, and NGOs across the Northern Rockies to reduce conflicts between livestock and large carnivores and ultimately to keep working lands intact and landscapes connected. Fueled by the passion she developed for wild, open spaces in Washington’s North Cascades, Alex traded a microscope for the mountains after completing a Ph.D. in neurophysiology at the University of Washington and has been living in the rural west since 2008. Alex brings experience from both state and federal wildlife management agencies.
In Montana, Alex worked for USDA-Wildlife Services to build a collaborative program bringing conflict prevention tools to ranchers. With collaborative funding from environmental NGOs, Wildlife Services hired its first conflict prevention specialist and range rider in 2018. This collaboration now serves as a model for Wildlife Services in other states. In California, Alex worked for the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife to recover a population of federal endangered bighorn sheep where one of the primary threats to recovery was mountain lion predation. In both of these positions Alex coordinated with federal land management agencies, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, NGOs, and private landowners. Through these experiences, Alex has come to love the challenge that comes at the intersection of management and conservation. She lives with her husband Grant and children Tug and Kaia on their family farm outside of Powell, Wyoming.
Stories by Alex Few
Livestock producers in the Northern Rockies face the growing challenge of increasing numbers of grizzly bears. That challenge has come to a critical point in the Gravelly Mountains in southwest Montana, where the population of grizzlies has expanded in recent years onto public lands grazing allotments on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. The number of livestock lost to grizzly predation on these rangelands consequently increased dramatically over the last several years.