Project Report:
Wildlife Conflict Resolution Program 2019
- Investigates the causes of economic imbalances.
- Investigates causes tending to destroy or impair the free-market system.
- Explores and develops market-based solutions.


The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) resolves conflicts between wildlife and livestock through the market-based approach of compensating ranchers for retiring problematic grazing leases on federal land. Restoring wildlife populations has been linked to recovering healthy, functioning ecosystems.
Thanks to the Walker Foundation and other funders, NWF has been able to retire 70 grazing allotments, totaling approximately 1.3 million acres. This approach establishes an important national model for resolving chronic conflicts between wildlife and livestock. Following the success of the program in the Northern Rockies, in 2017 NWF decided to expand the scope of the project to the Southern Rockies, the Colorado Plateau and the Great Basin states of Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and Utah.


As a matter of law, wildlife conservation interests are not allowed to compete with livestock producers for grazing leases on public lands. As a result the market system is constrained from finding an appropriate balance between the need for livestock grazing and the need for wildlife. Our approach recognizes the economic value of grazing permits and compensates livestock producers fairly for giving them up. NWF's approach of paying ranchers to retire grazing leases where there is chronic conflict between livestock and wildlife provides a market- based solution for resolving these conflicts.


Conflicts between livestock and wildlife on public lands have been ongoing for several decades. The tactic favored by most environmental organizations has been to compel federal agencies through litigation and lobbying to administratively cancel troublesome leases. This approach has been only marginally successful and has generated a great deal of controversy, exacerbating the divisions between the livestock industry and the conservation community. Regarding geographic scope, the expansion of the program to Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and Utah can be seen as a start-up. Whereas our nearly two decades of success in the Northern Rockies has generated a significant donor base and network of supporters, we are working hard to develop an equally solid platform that will support our work and hundreds of thousands of grazing allotment retirements for years to come.

Amount Approved
$30,000.00 on 6/7/2019 (Check sent: 6/14/2019)

  Related Organizations
National Wildlife Federation  

240 N. Higgins Avenue
Missoula, MT 59802

less than 100 feet from Missoula's main intersection, Broadway and Higgins

(406) 721-6705
(406) 541-6731


Kit Fischer
Wildlife Conflict Resolution Program Manager, National Wildlife Federation

Posted 4/17/2019 1:20 PM
Updated   6/27/2019 2:30 PM

  • Nonprofit

  © 2019 Alex C. Walker Foundation       Search   Sign In