WTU Accomplishments

Accomplishments of Wild Things Unlimited (1997 –2016):

Rare Carnivore Surveys Projects

  •  Documented wolverine presence in 5 mountain ranges of southwestern Montana: Bridger, Crazy, Gallatin, Madison and Absaroka Ranges, on the Gallatin National Forest (1997-2013); and in the Helena National Forest and Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest portions of the Hub Conservation Area, 2006-2013)
  • Confirmed Gallatin Mountain Range as a stronghold for wolverines by documenting wolverine activity in key drainages on the west side, north end and east side of the range (1997-2009); identified 5 individual wolverines from DNA samples
  •  Monitored wolverine activity in the Bridger Mountains, relative to winter recreation – documented activity of 2-3 wolverines in 8 drainages  (1997-2010)
  •  Confirmed the importance of the Continental Divide region, from Lincoln, Montana to Boulder, Montana, to wolverines; documented presence of ten different wolverines through DNA sampling and cameras (2006-2016), and the use of atypical habitat  (relatively low elevation, moderate road density, diverse human activities) by wolverines
  •  Documented fisher presence on Gallatin and Shoshone N. F’s. – Gallatin, Madison, and Absaroka Ranges  (1997-2000, 2005)          **need to verify with DNA samples
  •  Documented the presence of a lynx population in the North Fork of the Flathead River, centered on the Flathead National Forest, with some use of Glacier National Park; determined geographic extent of the population and conducted genetic sampling that resulted in the identification of a minimum of 13 individuals     (2000-2004)
  •  Documented lynx presence in two areas of the Gallatin National Forest, Absaroka Mountains (collected DNA samples that determined the presence of a resident female lynx during six winters) and Gallatin Mountains  (2003-2009)
  •  Documented lynx presence in the Hub Conservation Area (HNF; 2006-2015), and the importance of region south of Lincoln, Montana and west of the continental Divide as well as the region around MacDonald Pass; confirmed the presence of at least nine different lynx through DNA sampling
  •  Supported a new non-profit organization, Endeavor Wildlife Research of Jackson, Wyoming, in establishing a lynx survey project on the Bridger-Teton National Forest (2004-2005)
  •  Gathered valuable data on the distributions and habitat associations of other carnivores, such as marten, bobcat, mountain lion, and wolf, on four National Forests (Gallatin, Helena, Flathead, and Beaverhead-Deerlodge) and two National Parks (Yellowstone and Glacier) (1997-2016)
  •  Wrote annual project reports for each Rare Carnivore Surveys project: 19 reports for GNF (1998-2016),     14 reports for HNF (2001- 2003, and 2006-2016), 4 reports for GNP-FNF (2001-2004), and 1 report for BDNF (2010)
  •  Provided carnivore data to Forest Service and to conservation organizations, for input into projects such as the Bridger Bowl Expansion EIS, the Gallatin N.F. Travel Plan, the Proposed Biathlon Training Center on MacDonald Pass, and two Helena N.F. Travel Plans; provided wolverine data to USFWS for T&E listing proposal, and to Predator Conservation Alliance to influence MFWP trapping regulations

Wildlife Corridors Projects

  • Documented the expansion of grizzly bear range in the Gallatin Mountains (2006-2012); documented presence of 28 different grizzly bears in the Gallatin Range north of Yellowstone National Park, through DNA sampling
  •  Conducted wildlife and habitat surveys along the Gallatin-Bridger-Big Belt Wildlife Corridor – assessed actual wildlife use, habitat quality, human use patterns, and potential wildlife use; prepared two reports (2001, 2002)
  •  Conducted grizzly bear surveys in core habitat areas and potential corridors within the southern portion of the Y2Y lands network -- Bridger, Crazy, and Big Belt Mountain Ranges (2001-2004)
  •  Conducted grizzly bear surveys in the Hub Conservation Area, in an attempt to document movement of bears among major ecosystems of the Northern Rockies (2008-2010)

Other Wildlife and Outreach Projects

  •  Assessed wildlife and habitat values of private properties in the Bozeman Pass area of the Gallatin-Bridger-Big Belt Corridor, in cooperation with the Gallatin Valley Land Trust
  •  Conducted a three year study of wildlife on the B-Bar Ranch and surrounding Tom Miner Basin (2006-2008)
  •  Conducted bird surveys on the American Prairie Reserve (north-central Montana) in 2005, 2009, and 2013
  •  Conducted goshawk surveys on the Gallatin National Forest (2010)
  •  Helped Montana Outdoor Science School start a wildlife monitoring program on its property in the Bozeman Pass Area
  •  Helped to develop a moose monitoring project in the Bozeman Pass area, involving Montana Outdoor Science School and the LaMotte School
  •  Conducted a study and film project related to wildlife-human interactions in Yellowstone National Park during winter (2001-2002)
  •  Worked with Witness for Wildlife, Defenders Of Wildlife, Winter Wildlands Alliance, Montana Wilderness Association, and Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation to initiate and develop Citizen Science projects in the Helena and Gallatin National Forests; trained citizen volunteers in snow-tracking and reporting of wildlife observations (2009-2016)
  •  Worked with The Wilderness Society, the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, the Montana Wilderness Association, and Wilderness & Recreation Partnership to initiate and develop Citizen Science projects focused on the Gallatin Mountains, south of Bozeman, Montana; trained volunteers in snow-tracking and reporting of wildlife observations (2011-2014)
  •  Conducted numerous educational programs including slide shows, lectures, field trips, and field classes, for groups such as Predator Conservation Alliance, Montana Wilderness Association, Audubon Society, The Wilderness Society, Natural Resource Defense Council, Earthjustice, Montana Outdoor Science School, Deer Hill Expeditions, Montana State University, the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, the Yellowstone Institute, Anderson School, and Arrowhead School
  •  Conducted natural history tours and wildlife watching expeditions to places such as Alaska, Australia, Acadia National Park, Costa Rica, Panama, Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks, Utah Parks and Monuments, southeast Arizona