Yellowstone Park Foundation gives $350K in grants for wildlife projects
In Yellowstone National Park
by Yellowstone Park Foundation
March 14, 2011
The Yellowstone Park Foundation, the official fundraising partner of Yellowstone National Park, recently announced $350,000 in new grants to Yellowstone. These funds will make possible a wide range of projects including new wildlife studies and wildlife education programs.
The diversity of animals within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is as great as that found anywhere in the contiguous 48 states, and one of the highlights of any visit to Yellowstone is the opportunity to see bears, wolves, and herds of elk and bison living in the wild. Since its establishment in 1996, it has been a top priority of the Yellowstone Park Foundation to help support Yellowstone National Park’s wildlife conservation efforts.
Each year, Yellowstone’s superintendent submits proposals to the Yellowstone Park Foundation for priority projects that are beyond the financial capacity of the National Park Service. The first grants of 2011, approved last month by the Foundation’s board of directors, include:
• $100,000 to launch a seasonal Wildlife & Visitor Safety Program to manage interactions between visitors and bears, wolves, and other animals along Park roads. The goal of the program is to keep wildlife wild, while enhancing safety and enjoyment of viewing opportunities for Park visitors.
• $85,000 to fund the first year of a comprehensive, five-year Yellowstone Raptor Study, which will inventory birds of prey such as owls and golden eagles in the Park. The focus will be to assess population trends for select, seldom-studied species that are decreasing in abundance outside the Park, or being considered for listing as endangered species.
• $15,000 to establish a Park-wide Bat Monitoring Program for the early detection of White-Nose Syndrome, a disease that has decimated bat populations in the Northeast and is spreading rapidly south and west.
These new projects complement several ongoing, multi-year projects supported by the Yellowstone Park Foundation, such as the Fly Fishing Volunteers Program, the Yellowstone Wildlife Health Program, funding of bear-proof food storage boxes for campgrounds, and research on the effects of wolves in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
"These grants will be invaluable in helping our wildlife biologists, rangers, and other staff do the best jobs they can do," said Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk. "The Foundation’s support makes us even more effective and efficient stewards of this beautiful place that has been entrusted to our care."
Project grants are made possible by tax-deductible contributions to the nonprofit Yellowstone Park Foundation. More than 13,000 individuals, foundations, and corporations donated to the Foundation in the past year.
"We are able to do the work that we do because so many people cherish Yellowstone," said Yellowstone Park Foundation President Karen Bates Kress. "We contribute to the protection, preservation, and enhancement of Yellowstone and its wildlife because of the generous people who contribute to us."
The Bozeman, Montana-based Yellowstone Park Foundation has been the official fundraising partner of Yellowstone National Park since 1996. The mission of the Foundation is to fund projects and programs that protect, preserve, and enhance the natural and cultural resources and the visitor experience of Yellowstone National Park. Learn more at www.ypf.org.