Range Riders is a pilot project that seeks to test one very beneficial idea: Could the presence of people near livestock help prevent wolves from attacking cattle, sheep, and other domestic animals?
To help answer this question, Predator Conservation Alliance partnered with the Madison Valley Ranchlands Group, an association of ranchers in southwest Montana where conflicts between livestock and wolves have been a flashpoint.
Range Rider in Madison Valley, summer 2004. Photo by Diane Hargreaves, www.hargreavesphoto.com.
In 2004, Predator Conservation Alliance and the Madison Valley Ranchlands Group hired, paid, and trained cowhands in non-lethal methods to keep wolves and livestock apart. These "Range Riders" would stay with livestock 24 hours a day throughout the grazing season, and run off any wolves that came near the cattle.
This first season of the project was a success-- no livestock were lost, and no wolves were killed. We are looking to replicate this success again in 2005.
Other partners in the Range Riders project include the Turner Endangered Species Fund, the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service.
Support for the Range Riders project comes from the Wendy P. McCaw Foundation, the Arthur B. Schultz Foundation, and the David Rockefeller Fund.
If you have questions about the Range Riders project, or would like to have Range Riders working in your area, please contact project manager Janelle Holden at (406) 587-3389, x105, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coexisting with Carnivores Director, Janelle Holden.
To read a July 2004 Associated Press article on the Range Riders project, click here: http://www.billingsgazette.com/index.php?ts=1&display=rednews/2004/07/11/build/state/30-range-riders.inc