Our Wildlife and Uplands program works to promote healthy ecosystems and preserve the “working landscape” in the Big Hole River watershed through habitat conservation, invasive species management, wildlife conflict resolution, and community education & outreach.


  • Maintain habitat connectivity and migration corridors to benefit wildlife.
  • Support ranching, maintenance of open space, and land stewardship.
  • Manage invasive species through treatment, prevention, and education.
  • Prevent predator-livestock conflicts.
  • Conserve, improve, and restore upland and sagebrush habitats.
  • Support voluntary action and improvement over regulatory enforcement.
  • Provide education and outreach regarding relevant wildlife & habitat topics.


The Big Hole watershed is home to abundant wildlife species, including large game, predators, and migratory birds. 

A primary land use and occupation in the Big Hole is cattle ranching, and livestock producers often lease grazing allotments from the United States Forest Service. This proximity of livestock to wildlife can result in livestock predation. Although recent grizzly bear sighting have been reported in our watershed, to-date the majority of livestock predation is caused by wolves. Wolves and wolf/livestock interactions are of concern to livestock producers in our area, as confirmed wolf depredations have been documented in the past. Positive identification of livestock kills on public land has often been lacking due to remote, rugged terrain and rapid consumption by wolves or other scavenging species after a predation occurs.


In response to public concern regarding wildlife issues in the Big Hole watershed, the Big Hole Watershed Committee formed a wildlife subcommittee in November 2008 to discuss wildlife management issues. The group is led by ranchers and invites solutions from all sides of wildlife issues. The wildlife subcommittee is led by Jim Hagenbarth, Co-Chair of the Big Hole Watershed Committee and rancher. An initiative of the wildlife subcommittee focuses on solutions to reduce conflict between predators and ranchers and is led by Dean Peterson, board member of the Big Hole Watershed Committee and rancher. Tana Nulph, BHWC Conservation Programs Coordinator, manages the committee’s wildlife programs and grants.