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Planning for People & Wildlife Workshop
On June 7th and 8th, 2011, a workshop was held at the Best Western Great Northern Hotel in Helena, Montana to provide wildlife managers, elected officials, planners, citizens, rural landowners, and the conservation community with the tools they need to effectively plan for development while protecting wildlife and their habitat, and conserving ecologically important lands. The workshop was jointly sponsored by the Sonoran Institute and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.
Wildlife in Montana is big business. Wildlife-related tourism, hunting and fishing contributes more than $1 billion annually to the state's economy. The challenge that Montana faces – along with other Northern Rockies states – is to recognize that many impacts on natural wildlife activity and habitat can be avoided as rural communities grow and develop. So, how do you conserve some of Montana's most important natural resources while accommodating future growth?
"Conservation of wildlife and their habitat is critical to state revenues, promoting economic prosperity, and maintaining a high quality of life for Montana residents," says Diane Snyder, director of the Sonoran Institute's Northern Rockies Program. "Our work with local leaders to develop custom strategies that can be implemented in their communities will help to address Montana's wildlife conservation challenge. This workshop is a vital step in the process."
Attendees of the workshop gained a solid understanding of the issues and learn specific skills to guide their own decision-making in the future, including:
- The broad context and challenges of habitat conservation.
- The role of both state and local government.
- Landowner opportunities.
- Specific growth planning tools.
- The economic value of fishing and wildlife to the state economy.
- The purpose of Montana's Comprehensive Fish & Wildlife Conservation Strategy.
- How to define a community's wildlife and wildlife conservation goals and build consensus and support for those goals.
- The legal framework.
The key presentations made at the workshop are provided below. Click on the link to view or download the PowerPoint (PDF).
Crucial Areas Planning System - Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Tools for Habitat Protection - Sonoran Institute
Value-Based Communication Techniques - Sonoran Institute