Conservation project looks to achieve coexistence with wolves

Posted: Sep 22, 2011

Written by

MARTIN KIDSTON, The Billings Gazette
Wolf

When Tatjana Rosen arrived in the Big Hole Valley in southwestern Montana, she was seen as an outsider. Her European accent was a giveaway. As a wildlife conservationist, her motive for being there drew suspicion.

But over the past year, Rosen and a team of Big Hole Valley ranchers have formed an unlikely alliance, joining forces to test nonlethal methods of keeping wolves and cattle apart.

If the efforts pan out, the project could be continued in other areas of the Northern Rockies and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, where people and wolves now coexist.

"Over time, the ranchers I've been working with have started trusting us," said Rosen, a field scientist with the Wildlife Conservation Society. "When working on wolf or bear conservation, you realize you need to engage with people and respect them."

Before the project began this spring, 67 wolves had been lethally removed from the Big Hole Valley since 2009.

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