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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

A friend shared some pictures from the Glacier Park region showing how livestock grazing denudes habitat of important wildlife cover,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,excellent grazing versus no grazing pictures,,,,,,,,,,,,, " the difference between the two is striking!"

Contrast of livestock grazed and livestock free

Here's a couple of photos I took this past weekend in the Cutbank Creek area on the boundary between Glacier NP where no livestock are permitted and the Blackfoot Indian Reservation which is grazed. These photos were taken a couple of hundred feet apart on the same drainage. The difference is striking.

The Cows chewed this piece of ground to the quick

Although the grazed areas not bare dirt, notice the lack of hiding cover due to livestock removal of vegetation--if you're a ground squirrel, ground nesting bird, etc. you're out of luck on the grazed area.

If you're an elk looking for something eat, you probably need to forage someplace else--especially in winter when the grasses are under snow.

No livestock on this piece of land

 Also consider the loss of flowers and how it affects all kinds of wildlife--hummingbirds, moths, butterflies, bees, and other wildlife dependent on wildflowers are at a loss in the livestock grazing area.

Also due to the removal of tall vegetation, in winter, the high winds in the area, likely blow snow away from the grazed areas compared to the ungrazed area contributing to drier conditions.
livestock production has a tremendous cost to wildlife and biodiversity preservation hasn't thought about it very deeply.

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