Founded in 1990, Vital Ground is dedicated to reconnecting isolated fragments of wildlands important for grizzly recovery and biodiversity. As a small but thriving land trust with a unique mission, the Missoula, Montana-based organization is selective and strategic in the way it uses its financial resources and real-estate expertise to identify and protect parcels of private land crucial to grizzly bear survival.
See grizzly bears in the wild – just as they should be – in this animated slideshow courtesy of the Vital Ground Foundation.
Recognizing the shared aspects of our missions, the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust has partnered with Vital Ground on a number of projects:
- In 2011 HSWLT provided financial support to Vital Ground’s Gobi Bear Initiative to feed, protect and study fewer than 50 grizzly bears that live in the harsh climate of the Gobi Desert in Mongolia. They are the world’s only exclusively desert-dwelling bears of any kind, and they might even be a separate species or the “original” DNA source for all brown bears. Gobi bears are almost entirely vegetarian and at great risk of extinction.
- In 2008 HSWLT joined forces with Vital Ground and other organizations in the Darkwoods project, a 136,000-acre acquisition in southern British Columbia led by Nature Conservancy Canada.
- In 2007 the Hager Ranch (4,354 acres) and Ingersoll Ranch (4,229 acres), conservation projects on Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front in partnership with The Nature Conservancy of Montana, benefited from the combined resources of HSWLT and VG.
- In 2005 Vital Ground, with the assistance of HSWLT, acquired an 80-acre conservation easement on “Coyote Forest” in Montana’s Swan Valley as well as a strategic five-acre private inholding within lake Clark National Park, Alaska.
In order to expand the scope of HSWLT’s influence and effectiveness for the benefit of wildlife, we frequently share funds, expertise and HSWLT’s humane philosophy with other organizations. All HSWLT shared efforts are rooted in our commitment to providing wildlife with safe places to live, forever, by assisting other organizations that share our concerns for wildlife and habitat.