The Vital Ground Foundation is trust-based in Montana, formed to protect endangered grizzly bears and other wildlife. It ensures the survival and recovery of grizzly bears and other native species found in the area by protecting and restoring their core habitats and environments. The foundation works tirelessly to ensure that these bears do not go extinct while protecting them from humans and livestock.
History Of The Vital Ground Foundation
The Vital Ground Foundation was founded in 1990 by Doug and Lynne Seus- two internationally known trainers in Heber City, Utah. The Vital Ground Foundation has partnered and worked alongside many corporate companies, foundations, agencies, and community supporters.
In the thirty years that it has been around, it has helped save more than 600,000 acres of vital wildlife land that is crucial for the survival of grizzly bears. It is a tax-except organization that several charitable organizations support.
What The Vital Ground Foundation Does
The best part is that the Vital Ground Foundation is one of the unique conservation trusts in North America. It exclusively focuses on grizzly bear habitats as private areas. Not only does this organization work extremely hard to protect seasonal ranges and important corridors, but it also ensures that community members come together to protect endangered lands.
The founder, Doug Seus, believes that each piece of land that his foundation helps save for the grizzly, the planet’s health is positively affected. Since the land is available for grizzly bears to live and breed on, they continue contributing to the ecosystem. In fact, grizzly bears are called “keystone species” because of how important they are to our environment.
The Vital Ground Foundation collaborates with landowners who are willing to provide land for conservation purposes. The land can be voluntarily given, donated, or purchased. The foundation monitors and ensures the land’s protection by ensuring that terms of conservation are being followed. The lands are restored and managed so that wildlife can live comfortably.
The Vital Ground Foundation’s Achievements And Milestones
In the past thirty years, the Vital Ground Foundation has worked tirelessly to protect and promote 620,000 acres of land for the habitation of grizzly bears. All the way from Yellowstone into Canada, they are trying to conserve remaining lands in North America. They have loads of initiatives that connect private areas to the wild strongholds in the area.
The Vital Ground Foundation has monitored multiple conservation easements in Idaho, as well as other regions. They have collaborated with the U.S Forest Service to acquire more productive forestland that can be used to conserve the grizzly bear habitat.
Why Grizzly Bears Are Endangered
Grizzly bears are slowly becoming extinct because their habitats are being destroyed by logging, mining, oil and gas drilling, and of course, land construction. The problem is getting so bad that these bears are being pushed to extinction.
Grizzly bears have always been a symbol of wilderness. In fact, they play an important role in the wildlife heritage of Western history. They are known to be an umbrella species, making them an integral part of our ecosystem. These bears are constantly being endangered as their conflict with humans continues to increase.
Moreover, these bears do not have a rapid reproduction rate. Till a female grizzly bear is six years old, she cannot have her first litter. Hence, to ensure that grizzly bears do not get instinct, female bears need to be protected. Meaning that they should be kept away from human beings, our garbage, and also our livestock. As human-responsible mortality causes the extinction of grizzly bears. Only bears in remote, isolated mountainous regions in the U.S. have managed to survive human encroachment.
Why Global Warming Is A Factor
Another faction leading to the endangerment of grizzly bears is global warming. Due to the constant climate changes, it has become common for grizzly bears to show up in human-populated areas. Their deaths become a cause of human defense, further leading to their extinction.
Global warming also affects the food sources of grizzly bears, which means that they have to look for alternative sources. Whitebark pine seeds have always been a staple in these bears’ diet, but blister rust is destroying their food source because of global warming. This leads to grizzly bears migrating from their high elevation regions to lower elevation regions full of human beings as they look for food to survive. Here, the bears come into contact with humans, livestock, and an abundance of garbage- all of which are a threat to their existence. Soon enough, these bears get killed by wildlife managers as safety concerns become common.
Why We Must Protect Grizzly Bears
We must protect grizzly bears as they are a crucial part of our ecosystem. They play the role of seed dispersers and nutrient providers. Berry seeds can only germinate as they pass through the bears safely. Moreover, these are used as fertilizer.
When grizzly bears sift through the soil in search of squirrels and tree roots, they encourage species richness and nitrogen availability within alpine ecosystems. Due to their soil disturbance, they boost the amount of available nitrogen.
Grizzlies also ensure that prey populations do not overgraze farmlands. According to some studies, the extinction of these bears causes a rise in herbivorous populations, which reduces the plant density in the region. This leads to a fall in the population of birds. Just like other carnivores, grizzly bears are also important predators that we must keep in our ecosystem.
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