Visionary in scope, back in 2018 Pheasants Forever wanted to take advantage of a strong interest in improving critical big game winter range and migration corridors in Montana while also creating a unique way to bolster grassland conservation. Research showed the places where high value habitat connectivity took place, or could be created, were also some of the areas at greatest risk so the answer was simple:
Anchor this corridor with wildlife-friendly fences and high-quality uninterrupted grasslands.
And ultimately with an army of federal, state, and NGO partners and seven private landowners, an area roughly 30 miles long and seven miles wide has seen miles of friendly-fences created, more than 29,000 acres of grasslands enrolled in long-term protection agreements, and nearly 85,00 acres of grazing management plans created.
In turn this has immensely improved an important pronghorn migration corridor, enhanced sharp-tailed grouse habitat, protected sharptail and sage grouse leks, bolstered Mule Deer wintering grounds and helped nesting habitat for waterfowl. Who would have thought one of the most important genetic connectivity corridors for pronghorn could have such a profound impact on upland birds? Pheasants Forever and our partners did. Landowners listened, and this landscape is better because of it.