The 8th International Wildlife Congress Proceedings – 2014
Last year, Blue Valley Ranch sponsored the 8th International Congress for Wildlife and Livelihoods on Private and Communal Lands, held in beautiful Estes Park, Colorado. From September 7 through the 12, wildlife professionals from around the world gathered at the YMCA of the Rockies to attend symposia, workshops and poster sessions on wildlife and natural resource management. It was an impressive gathering of knowledge and expertise with some great intellectual discussions. The best part is that the entire proceedings was captured on video, and is now online for the enjoyment and education of everyone interested in wildlife management and land stewardship.
In addition to its sponsorship of the conference, Blue Valley Ranch also provided an all-day field trip for conference attendees. The trip got off to a bit of a rough start as Trail Ridge Road over the Continental Divide was closed due to snow, an all-too common occurrence in the Colorado high country after Labor Day. After re-routing to the south, however, the field trip was still enjoyed by all, and the bus was able to return to the conference center via the original route through Rocky Mountain National Park later that same day.
Finally, BVR also contributed to the discussions of land stewardship throughout the conference with two presentations by ranch staff. Josh Richert, the ranch’s wildlife biologist and livestock foreman, gave a talk on a cooperative project between Blue Valley Ranch and CO Parks and Wildlife to reintroduce Columbian sharp-tailed grouse to Middle Park. Perry Handyside, former general manager for the ranch, gave a talk on bison and conservation ranching. A video of both talks, as well as a PDF copy of their presentations, can be found at the links above, and the full proceedings can be found at the conference website.
The Congress was a huge success in underscoring the similar conservation challenges that unite wildlife and land management professionals all over the world, while highlighting the differences that make communicating and sharing ideas so interesting. Capturing this exchange on video and archiving it for future generations of managers, scientists and professionals will make a lasting contribution to the ever growing body of knowledge on conservation and land stewardship.