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A moose in an urban area. Moose in an urban area.

Archived Study

The Montana Challenge was a groundbreaking cooperative study of the relationships between fish and wildlife conservation and economic prosperity sponsored by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and The U.S. Forest Service Northern Region. The Montana Challenge project aimed to offer Montanans a common understanding of socio-economic trends affecting fish and wildlife to help citizens make sound decisions for the state’s future. The study was completed in 2005. The information is offered here as a historical reference for students, researchers, natural resource managers, lawmakers, and the public to examine.

This section contains a sampling of fish and wildlife management challenges emerging from Montana's changing social and economic landscape.

These vignettes tell the stories of eight fish and wildlife issues that are making the news in Montana. They put a human face on the statistics and analysis developed for the Montana Challenge.

The vignettes are more than examples and less than case studies. They are not the definitive word on any issue. Rather, they illustrate how fish and wildlife management involves much more than the ecological needs of any fish, mammal, or bird. In our times, wildlife management is very much about understanding the human species-where we live, how we make our living, and what we think is important.

These vignettes portray the impact on wildlife when human communities undergo demographic, economic, and social change. They explore the increasingly complex and emotional situations faced by resource managers as they try to protect one of Montana's crown jewels, its magnificent fish and wildlife populations.

These vignettes were researched and written by Susan Bury, Stauffer Bury Inc., Red Lodge, with the help of resource managers from Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks and the US Forest Service-Northern Region as well as many individuals.