Wild Sheep Foundation (WSF) Conservation Scholarship Awarded
Bozeman, Montana – October 10, 2016: At the annual Montana State University (MSU) Fish & Wildlife Ecology Awards Night held October 6th in Bozeman, a $2,400 scholarship was presented to Ms. Kelli Poole, in support of her studies of bighorn sheep in Montana’s Highland Mountains. Established in 2014 and named after WSF Senior Conservation Director Kevin Hurley in recognition of his lifelong work on wild sheep, the WSF Kevin Hurley Wild Sheep Biology Award is presented annually to either an MSU graduate or upper-level undergraduate student studying wild sheep or mountain goats. “This year, the selection committee unanimously chose Kelli Poole, a top-tier student in her senior year at MSU,” stated Gray N. Thornton, WSF President and CEO. “Kelli’s work on the Highland Mountains bighorn sheep project, under the direction of Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks biologist Vanna Boccadorri of Butte, could very well develop into a graduate-level research project, contributing valuable data to aid MFWP with bighorn sheep management in southwest Montana” added Thornton.
Sheep Foundation Supports National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Management Recommendations
Following extensive deliberation and public stakeholder testimony, on September 9, 2016 the BLM’s National Wild Horse and Burro (WH&B) Advisory Board advanced an important recommendation to BLM, to “…follow the stipulations of the 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act by offering all suitable animals in long- and short-term holding deemed unadoptable for sale without limitation or humane euthanasia; and those animals deemed unsuitable for sale should then be destroyed in the most humane manner possible.” This is a bold and critical step towards proper management of burgeoning wild horse and burro populations on western public rangelands.
Wild Sheep Foundation Opposes Proposed Trapping Ban in Montana
At the end of June 2016, Ballot Initiative No. 177 (I-177) was qualified by the Montana Secretary of State’s office for inclusion on the fall 2016 general election ballot. I-177 generally prohibits the use of traps and snares for animals on any public lands within Montana. Given that 30% of the state of Montana is public land (mostly USFS or BLM managed lands), this ballot initiative, if passed, would make public trapping a criminal offense on the very lands that so many Montanans hunt, fish, trap, and otherwise recreate on.