Let me tell you ’bout the Bears and the Bees!


Mountain LionFarming at an elevation of 8000 feet is challenging in itself. Farming while paying attention to the greater picture of environmental integrity is the vision of Zach and Jasmine Cecelic of the Wildhood Farm in Truchas New Mexico. A vision which is encapsulated in this line from Zach’s web-bio, “Today, he makes his personal philosophy a practice by creating room and habitat for all of his human and non-human friends.”

Jasmine talked freely and happily about her dedication to being a producer and honoring the natural world. Read more

What To Do Wednesday: Issue #4

What to do to keep you and your pets safe from traps on public lands.

Here in Jackson Hole, and in many other places throughout the West, the thaw has begun! By now, many of us are itching to get outside and use our feet as our primary mode of transportation (as opposed to skis, snowshoes, and other over-snow tools). Hiking brings with it a whole slew of safety considerations (bears, sudden changes in weather, dehydration, exposure, etc), but this week we’ve decided to take a look at traps on public lands, and how you can keep yourself and your pets safe while recreating.

Sydney, the yellow lab on the right, was caught in a trap.

Sydney, the yellow lab on the right, was caught in a trap.

Trapping is an issue that hits close to home for The Cougar Fund. Sydney, the yellow lab pictured above, was caught in a small animal trap near Moran, Wyoming. She lost eight teeth (all her canines), and had an injury to her foot. There are countless other stories like this (and many that end a lot worse), and it raises the importance of better understanding trapping and how to stay safe while recreating.

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What To Do Wednesday: Issue #3

What to do if you see a cougar near your home.

Photo: Billings Gazette / Courtesy Photo

Too close for comfort. (Photo: Billings Gazette / Courtesy Photo)

Following the recent news that a cougar was killed by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks for getting too comfortable  around a Helena home, it seems appropriate to discuss the nuances of safely coexisting with these felids. Because cougars are wild animals, their behavior can be unpredictable – but not as unpredictable as you might think. As a result, learning a little bit about these cats can go a long way in helping you understand when they are or aren’t a threat, and how you can prevent conflict. So, if you see a cougar near your home, consider these points:

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What To Do Wednesday: Issue #2

What to do when bears start emerging from hibernation.

Photo Credit: Tom Mangelsen

Photo Credit: Tom Mangelsen

Incredibly, March is already here and we’re slowly but surely crawling towards spring. Spring brings many welcome changes: the thaw, wildflowers, longer days, and warmer temperatures. It also brings a few challenges for residents and recreational users throughout the west, none more significant than the emergence of bears from hibernation. When bears exit their dens is highly variable and dependent primarily on environmental conditions. In the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, for example, grizzly bears can emerge anytime from the first week of February to the last week of May, with males typically leaving earlier then females (Haroldson et al., 2002). Thus, we can reasonably expect for bears to be active very soon, if not already!

Of course, living and playing in bear country comes with a number of responsibilities. However, a few simple lifestyle changes can go a great way in helping people and bears stay safe. Here are a few reminders and tips to help you prepare for life (again) with Ursus arctos horribilis and Ursus americanus:

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Tuesday Tribute: Fulton Farm, Nebraska


Who can you name from Nebraska that has really made a difference to life on our planet? Sure, there is a whole cast of entertainers from Fred Astaire to Marlon Brando, with Nick Nolte in between. There is even President Gerald Ford, and Malcolm X certainly made a statement, but who is making a difference?

Heroes are what the natural world needs now; Read more