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Rocky Mountain Wild, Inc.

Protecting biodiversity is a BIG job, and we know that we can't do it alone. We are actively building a diverse community of educators, students, activists, philanthropists, and citizen scientists to help us protect, connect, and restore wildlife and wild lands in the Southern Rocky Mountain region.

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Wild I-70 Audio Tour

Class

Animal-Related 

Beneficiaries

Animals

Description

The Wild I-70 Audio Tour introduces listeners to the wildlife and environments beyond their windshield. Quirky stories, unusual facts, and science help explain how lynx, wolves, humans, and more all use this important movement corridor.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

The program has been downloaded hundreds of times despite just being completed in May 2018, and has five 5-star reviews.

100 Women for the Wild

Class

Animal-Related 

Beneficiaries

Animals
Female Adults
Females

Description

100 Women for the Wild supports on-the-ground conservation projects led by Rocky Mountain Wild. our donations, volunteer time, and expertise help Rocky Mountain Wild to protect and restore over 500 rare and imperiled plant and animal species in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and New Mexico. Additionally, through our Emerging Female Leader fund and internships, we work to reduce gender bias in our field and provide empowering real-world work experiences for women exploring careers in biology and science.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

The program just began in October 2016, but we have already had 63 women sign up to be one of the 100 Women for the Wild and have held a number of meetings and events. The group has also begun a series of events and volunteer service called Wednesdays in the Wild.

Friends of Wolf Creek

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

Animals
Wildlife Enthusiasts

Description

Wolf Creek Pass needs your help to remain the beautiful area that you and thousands of others know and love. Out-of-state developers continue to pursue plans for a "village" at Wolf Creek, a city of up to 8,000 people on top of the pass.

This intense development plan in a fairly pristine area entirely surrounded by National Forest would dramatically impact the entire region. The "village" would threaten:

1. One of the most critical wildlife corridors in the southern Rocky Mountains, especially important for high-elevation species like wolverine and lynx,
2. Unspoiled backcountry opportunities along the Continental Divide,
3. Water supply and water quality for downstream communities,
4. Local businesses in nearby Archuleta and Rio Grande Counties, and
5. Rare and ecologically valuable fen wetlands.

Rocky Mountain Wild has ongoing court cases to try and halt and stop the development of the "village" so that we can keep Wolf Creek wild. #NoPillage

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

With our ongoing court cases and our court wins, we've been able to hold the construction of the "village" for decades. And we are closer than ever to ensuring that the "village" will not be built in this critical wildlife corridor.

Vail Pass Wildlife Corridor

Class

Animal-Related 

Beneficiaries

Animals
Wildlife Enthusiasts

Description

Vail Pass is an important wildlife movement corridor. It has been identified as an ecologically significant site both statewide and regionally for wildlife and habitat connectivity - especially to snow-dependent species (such as Canada lynx), and will increase in importance as the landscape continues to be transformed by climate change.

The wildlife connection here is currently being severed by Interstate 70. I-70 is one of the largest and most dangerous roadways for wildlife, bisecting major migration routes with four to six lanes of high-speed traffic and concrete dividers.

Rocky Mountain Wild, along with partners at Denver Zoo and help from Marcel Huijser at Western Transportation Institute and Walking Mountains Science Center, is working to monitor wildlife movement at an overpass site before and after construction. The goal is to learn more about the relative abundance of wildlife near I-70 at the location and to use the information to evaluate the effectiveness of the structure once it is built.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Rocky Mountain Wild has over 200,000 images from animals attempting to cross at Vail Pass and with our partners has opened a citizen science program where concerned citizens can help identify species captured on camera. We are in meetings with decision makers to develop a plan towards wildlife connectivity.

Oil and Gas Lease Monitoring

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

Animals
Wildlife Enthusiasts

Description

Each year the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) leases thousands of acres of public land to corporations and individuals for oil and gas development. The process, which is documented below, allows for public input, protest, and parcel removal at three separate stages. Rocky Mountain Wild monitors all lease sales in our region and prepares screens that identify conflicts with at-risk species and other conservation values. We share these tools with conservation organizations and the public to increase engagement in this process. We also prepare our own comments and protests on parcels. To date we have been directly involved in the deferral of more than 2 million acres of public land from oil and gas development.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

To date, we have been directly involved in the deferral of more than 2 million acres of public land from oil and gas development.

Front Range Pika Project

Class

Animal-Related 

Beneficiaries

Animals
Wildlife Enthusiasts

Description

The Front Range Pika Project (FRPP) is a citizen science initiative that engages the pubic in field research on the effects of climate change on American pika.

The project was formed to help address the need for additional research and long-term monitoring to determine what factors currently limit the distribution of American pika in the southern Rocky Mountains, and whether the species can persist in the region as climate change accelerates. FRPP also aims to educate participants about American pika and the impacts of climate change in the region and provide an opportunity for the public to engage in science and conservation.

Volunteers hike to high-altitude field sites in the Front Range to collect data on pikas and their habitat. Volunteers enjoy learning about pika ecology and climate change, contributing to pika research and conservation, hiking in the alpine, and making new friends. Researchers are currently using FRPP data, collected by volunteers every year from 2010 to the present, in efforts to determine if American pika is vulnerable to climate change.

The Front Range Pika Project is directed by Rocky Mountain Wild and Denver Zoo with assistance from researchers at the University of Colorado, Natural Resources Ecology Laboratory at Colorado State University, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Warren Wilson College. FRPP also collaborates with a number of other citizen science initiatives that engage the public in research on the effects of climate change on American pika in Colorado and across the West.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

We've had hundreds of volunteers over the last 7 years collecting data for this study.

#StandWithGunny

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

Animals
Wildlife Enthusiasts

Description

Gunnison sage-grouse is a vital member of the sagebrush ecosystem - a complex web of life that includes deer, pronghorn, elk, songbirds, and rare wildflowers. Gunny and his friends once ranged widely across southwest Colorado and Utah. Today, however, there are fewer than 5,000 of these birds remaining, and they need our help.

The BLM is currently in the process of updating its land-use plans to include improved safeguards for Gunnison sage-grouse. Through this process we have the opportunity to protect key habitat that is crucial to the survival of this species.

Rocky Mountain Wild has an ongoing campaign to ask the BLM to protect more than 93,834 acres of the most important habitat for six small and incredibly vulnerable populations of Gunnison sage-grouse in Southwest Colorado.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

We have had 28 successful outreach events that have amassed almost 3,400 letters sent, over 800 postcards sent, 120 of coloring pages sent, two #DanceForGunny videos, one short film for Gunny, one song for Gunny, and dozens of Gunny selfies!

Healthy Habitats Program

Class

Animal-Related 

Beneficiaries

Animals
General Public
Wildlife Enthusiasts

Description

Plant and animal species rely on healthy and resilient habitats to survive. A healthy habitat provides wildlife with food, water, shelter, and space. Unfortunately, wildlife habitats throughout our region are threatened by air and water pollution, deforestation, and the effects of human-induced climate change.

Through our Healthy Habitats program, Rocky Mountain Wild works to identify, protect, and restore functioning and resilient habitats. The areas that we safeguard include the Uinta Basin, Roan Plateau, Sage Brush Sea, and dozens of other smaller habitats on Forest Service and BLM lands.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

We have identified and mapped roadless areas all over our region and have begun advocating for their protection with our partners, Conservation Colorado, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Wild Connections, The Wilderness Society, and Wilderness Workshop.

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