Trash cans and fencing and bears, oh my!
This year, we accomplished some long-held goals while moving others forward
Helped expand bear-resistant trash cans county-wide
In recent years, Jackson Hole has witnessed an alarming increase in the death of bears and other wildlife who got into trash and other human food attractants. This year, the Alliance partnered with local organizations to put a stop to the horrific trend. Through a coordinated outreach campaign that included strong, call-to-action communications and one of the most attended events in Alliance history, the Teton County Commission unanimously passed the updated wildlife feeding land development regulation. The revised regulation contains updated language on securing attractants and feeding requirements, most notably, the expansion to a county-wide requirement of bear-resistant trash cans.
Advocated for wildlife-friendly fencing for improved permeability for wildlife
Fencing, if not done correctly, is at best a major disturbance and at worst a lethal obstacle to migrating wildlife. That’s why this year the Alliance rallied our community to lobby Teton County to update its wildlife-fencing regulations. After months of receiving hundreds of letters and hearing public comments from concerned community members, the Teton County Commission unanimously approved an update to the fencing regulations. In doing so, they struck a balance between requests from wildlife advocates who aimed to make travel easier – and less deadly – for wildlife, and livestock owners who want to contain their domestic animals. The update is an example of successful compromise and a major victory for wildlife in Jackson Hole.
Worked to improve wildlife co-existence through our Wild Neighborhoods educational campaign
With the work of several AmeriCorps members and a new Wildlife Research and Education Fellow, renewed collaboration with local agencies and non-profit partners, and ongoing engagement from passionate community members, the Wild Neighborhoods program is stronger than ever. In addition to updating and distributing informational materials about best practices for living with wildlife and wildfire, Wild Neighborhoods is creating the first ever Teton County Wildlife Coexistence Community Monitoring Report. Slated for publication in Fall 2022, this report combines key indicators and expert interviews to track our community’s successes and challenges in coexisting with wildlife.