Our Missoula Office
Here in the Northern Rockies and Prairies we have a long history of successfully protecting western landscapes and wildlife by advocating for wildlife habitat as an important use of western public lands. Whenever issues impact the wildlife and the landscapes of the West, we will work with our affiliates and partners to find a sound, common-sense solution that represents the voices and views of NWF's members and supporters and that benefits both wildlife and the land.
Northern Rockies and Prairies Work
NWF is working to restore wild bison to native prairie habitat across millions of acres of public land in north-central Montana. Saving bison from extinction was one of America’s earliest conservation successes, but we only saved the animal – not its ecological function. Nearly all the bison in America today exist in small captive herds in parks and refuges – or, most commonly, are privately owned as livestock. NWF is committed to restoring a significant herd of truly wild bison to Montana’s million-acre Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge as part of a broader vision – shared by many partners – of creating a multi-million-acre prairie reserve encompassing the refuge and the millions of acres of adjacent public lands. Learn More>>
NWF's Wildlife Conflict Resolution Program retires public-land livestock grazing allotments in the Yellowstone Ecosystem (Wyoming / Idaho) and on the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge (Montana), that experience conflict with wildlife, especially grizzly bears, wolves, bison and bighorn sheep. Ranchers receive fair payment for their allotments and have the opportunity to secure grazing in other locations. You can adopt a wildlife acre today.
Bringing Back the Bighorns
Bighorn sheep are among our most values wildlife species in the West. But bighorns aren’t nearly as abundant as they once were because disease transmitted from domestic sheep have decimated wild bighorn sheep populations. By working cooperatively with livestock producers to end domestic sheep grazing in areas inhabited by bighorn populations, the National Wildlife Federation and its state affiliates in the West have goal of doubling bighorn populations and ensuring a more secure future for these magnificent animals.
While it’s clear bighorn sheep populations are on the decline, developing state specific priorities and solutions will be critical in recovering bighorn sheep populations across the west.
Connecting Children with Nature
Even in the spectacular natural setting of the Northern Rockies, many kids spend more time indoors looking at electronic screens than outside experiencing the natural world. NWF encourages everyone to spend at least an hour outdoors every day, and provides support for schools and families to connect with nature. For example, through Eco-Schools USA, NWF helps schools achieve more sustainable buildings and grounds, get students outdoors and improve environmental curricula. The Clark Fork School in Missoula, an Eco-Schools Silver Award recipient, engages young children and their families in regular outdoor play and learning activities. Learn more about NWF’s diverse programs to connect kids and nature.
The sagebrush-steppe landscape of the interior West supports nearly 350 different plant and wildlife species but is threatened by fragmentation, invasive grass species, and wild fire. All of these factors have led to a sharp decline in Greater Sage Grouse populations across the West. NWF has launched a project to provide direct support for voluntary sage grouse habitat protection on private and public land in core habitat areas of Eastern Montana. Learn More >>
Addressing the Changing Climate and Promoting Clean Air
The changing climate may be the greatest long-term threat to fish and wildlife in the region. NWF's Northern Rockies office works to curb carbon pollution, promote responsibly sited and developed renewable energy and encourage habitat and wildlife management principles that will allow fish and wildlife to continue to thrive as the climate changes. Of special emphasis is the implementation of the federal Clean Power Plan and the denial of the permit for the Otter Creek Coal Mine.
Crown of the Continent
The 18-milliion-acre region where Montana, British Columbia and Alberta come together represents one of the premier mountain eco-regions of the world, with some of the largest remaining blocks of intact wildlands in North America—along with a full complement of native wildlife species. The Crown provides opportunities to observe and study virtually all of North America’s large mammals, including the densest and largest grizzly bear populations in the lower 48 states, gray wolf, mountain lion, black bear, wolverine, bobcat, Canadian lynx, fisher and martin. These predators in turn rely on the Crown’s abundant populations of elk, deer, moose and pronghorns as well as other prey species. In cooperation with other conservation and community groups, NWF works to protect the Crown’s ecological environment, including its important linkage zones to other habitats. Community engagement in protection and restoration strategies is key to NWF’s vision of stewardship. Learn more about the Crown of the Continent.