Rocky Mountain West

The Rocky Mountains are home to iconic wildlife, including bison, grizzly bear, wolverine, and several species of freshwater fish, roaming among outstanding wild areas, including some of the world's most famous national parks and protected public lands. Protected area conservation was born in this iconic region, with success stories like Yellowstone, the world's first national park, Banff, Canada's first national park, and Gila, the U.S.'s first wilderness.

Challenges

Today, this rich wilderness, mixed with settlement, faces three principal threats:

These threats are compounded by the fact that support for conservation must compete against many other important and pressing needs for public attention.

Our Goal

Use the best available biological and social science, work with diverse communities, tribes, agencies, and other partners to understand the needs of wildlife and people, and create and implement a large-scale applied conservation agenda to protect wildlife species and habitats throughout the Rocky Mountain West.

How Will We Get There?

Our strategies include:

Why WCS?

WCS is uniquely positioned thanks to our collaborative approach, including with the increasingly diverse cultures and communities of the West, long-term expertise and presence, and commitment to applying high-quality science to inform conservation actions that impact wildlife at scale, across boundaries.

Since our inception, WCS’s work has led to significant victories for wildlife that have literally changed the conservation map. Among the most notable are the creation of Path of the Pronghorn, the first federally recognized wildlife migration corridor in the United States and restoration of free-ranging bison on tribal lands where bison are of critical cultural and economic importance to Native Americans.

15 tribes and first nations

First signed in 2014, the historic Buffalo Treaty has now been signed by 21 tribes and First Nations in the U.S. and Canada. This international agreement, initially conceptualized by WCS and members of the Iinnii Initiative, expressed the commitment among these nations for collaboration, cultural preservation, land conservation, youth education, economic development, and restoration of bison.

170 miles

Each spring and fall, hundreds of pronghorn migrate 170 miles to and from their important summer range in Grand Teton National Park. All of the pronghorn in Grand Teton National Park depend on this single corridor for their seasonal migration. Thanks to WCS science and our collaborative approach, in 2008, the "Path of the Pronghorn" became the first federally designated migration route. With this designation, thousands of acres of conservation easements, and a spectacularly successful wildlife overpass, this corridor is now secure.

1xokxzy3cq keith aune dusty bison
Photo Credit: ©Keith Aune/WCS

On Our Strategies

In executing these strategies, WCS commits to being:


Read more:
WCS North America

Wildlife

Stand for Wildlife

Join more than one million wildlife lovers working to save the Earth's most treasured and threatened species.