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Vital Ground Foundation Inc

Rating: 4.91 stars   11 reviews 2,264

Address:

20 Fort Missoula Road Missoula MT 59804 USA

Mission:

Vital ground helps ensure the recovery and long-term survival of grizzly bears, together with the many native species that share their range, through the protection and restoration of core habitats and landscape linkages.

Programs:

Land conservation: vital ground identifies crucial grizzly bear habitat on private land and works with willing landowners to protect the land's conservation values. This is accomplished through the voluntary placement of donated or purchased conservation easements on the land, or the outright purchase of land. Vital ground has a perpetual responsibility to monitor the lands on which it holds conservation easements and ensure adherence to the terms of the conservation easements. Vital ground has a responsibility to restore and manage the lands it owns to provide quality habitat for the benefit of grizzly bears and associated wildlife. In addition to developing and managing its own projects, vital ground occasionally provides grants to agencies and other nonprofit conservation organizations to assist with their efforts to conserve and restore important wildlife habitat. 2014 accomplishments include:conservation easements: secured one new conservation easement totaling 240 acres, located at the confluence of the ninemile and clark fork river valleys of western montana. Monitored thirteen conservation easements in montana, two conservation easements in idaho, and four forest legacy conservation easements in idaho (all easements acquired prior to 2014). Continued working to advance the alvord lake community forest project in lincoln county, mt. In coordination with the u. S. Forest service - kootenai national forest, vital ground is working towards the fee title acquisition of 142 acres of productive forestland that will be managed to protect its conservation values and provide enduring access and other benefits to the public. Continued working to advance the selkirk-purcell-cabinet linkage initiative in northwestern montana and north idaho-an effort to conserve key grizzly bear habitat linkages between the selkirk, purcell and cabinet-yaak ecosystems. Continued working to advance the swan valley grizzly bear conservation initiative in missoula and lake counties montana-an effort to conserve key grizzly bear habitat and linkages between the bob marshall wilderness and mission mountains wilderness areas. Land acquisition and management:monitored seven fee-title conservation properties in idaho and two fee-title conservation properties in montana (all acquired prior to 2014). Conducted habitat enhancement activities on properties held for the benefit of wildlife in bonner and boundary counties, idaho and in lincoln and missoula counties, montana. Vital ground provided a $25,000 grant to the western rivers conservancy to facilitate the organization's bennett meadows acquisition addressing a 2,400-acre private in-holding in the colville national forest in northern washington. This project will ultimately assist the u. S. Forest service in consolidating ownership of lands within the colville national forest boundary, protect important core and linkage habitat for wildlife, and secure continued public access to the area.

conservation education: vital ground provides information about grizzly bears, associated wildlife, and habitat conservation issues through its publications, special mailers, website, email communications, social media, live presentations, videos and other media opportunities. The organization also participates in collaborative educational programs to promote the conservation of grizzly bears and their habitat, minimize conflicts between bears and humans, and enhance the survival of grizzly bears. 2014 accomplishments include:produced 14,500 copies of vital news, the organization's biannual 16-page newsletter which reports on grizzly bear and wildlife habitat conservation issues, project opportunities, and accomplishments. Produced six electronic newsletters that were distributed to approximately 3,700 unique recipients (22,000 total communications). These electronic newsletters reported on grizzly bear and wildlife habitat conservation issues, emerging project opportunities, conservation accomplishments, and funding needs. Produced eight special mailers (127,000 pieces) that reported on grizzly bear and wildlife habitat conservation issues, emerging project opportunities, conservation accomplishments, and funding needs. Maintained a website (www. Vitalground. Org) that provides comprehensive information to the public about grizzly bears, wildlife habitat conservation issues, current grizzly bear conservation challenges and project accomplishments. During 2014, the website received 160,296 visits resulting in 440,000 page views. Promoted wildlife habitat, grizzly bear natural history and conservation education topics to a social media audience of 9,100. Continued working to advance vital ground's grizzly bear conservation education partnership with the chicago zoological society at the brookfield zoo's great bear wilderness exhibit. Conservation education grants awarded ($1,500):awarded a $250 grant to the swan ecosystem center in condon, montana to help support the swan valley wilderness ranger program. Awarded a $250 grant to the center for large landscape conservation to help sponsor the 5th annual roundtable on the crown of the continent conference in waterton park in alberta, canada. The conference focused on ways to sustain and enhance culture, community, and conservation. Vital ground made a $1,000 grant to montana's outdoor legacy foundation to help the foundation promote awareness of exemplary individual efforts to conserve natural resources that provide outdoor opportunities for the public. Other:in addition to its land conservation and conservation education programs, vital ground may also participate in research and management projects designed to promote the conservation of grizzly bears and their habitat, minimize conflicts between bears and humans, and/or enhance the survival of grizzly bears. 2014 accomplishments include: vital ground provided a $10,000 grant to western wildlife outreach to support a collaboration between wwo and the u. S. Fish and wildlife service involving wwo's management and deployment of the usfws's "northwest bear education trailer". The grant was designed to assist wwo in conducting outreach to public audiences living, working or recreating in grizzly bear habitat to promote bear awareness and human-carnivore coexistence. Vital ground provided a $5,000 "community bear aware" grant to swan valley bear resources. Vital ground's contribution was used to implement a bear resistant-garbage container loaner program, assists landowners with small livestock to erect bear-proof electric fences, and allow svbr's trained staff to engage with the public to share information about bears and bear safety.

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(406) 549-8650
www.vitalground.org

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Reviews for Vital Ground Foundation Inc

Rating: 5 stars  

The Vital Ground Foundation is an accredited land trust. Accreditation means The Vital Ground Foundation meets national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. The Vital Ground Foundation has demonstrated to the Land Trust Accreditation Commission its commitment to excellence. Accredited land trusts meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. These land trusts demonstrate their commitment to excellence by adopting Land Trust Standards and Practices, the ethical and technical guidelines for the responsible operation of a land trust, and meeting the accreditation requirements drawn from them. Learn More: http://www.landtrustaccreditation.org/about.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

To see strong populations of wild grizzlies walk this earth, one feels comforted that all is well in nature. I have had the distinguished privilege of witnessing young cubs play and forage on the shores of Knight Inlet—a wondrous display of humour and intelligence. The connections become obvious as every element of the ecosystem relates to the health of these powerful and personable animals. Vital Ground strengthens these connections by preserving stretches of key habitat for grizzlies and other wildlife, providing them with safe passage to seasonal foodstuffs. Knowledge and community support are integral to their efforts, as such I invite you to share their vision and explore their cause.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

This organization gets it! Their founders, Doug and Lynne Seus walk the walk. They've been saving individual orphaned grizzly cubs for a long time. Somehow, in spite of the demands of caring for these amazing creatures, they found the time to start an organization dedicated to protecting grizzly habitat. They continue to nurture it, but have handed it off to a biologist-director who understands the importance of corridors for this species. He and his staff work tirelessly to protect the range of this bellwether species because

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

change nothing.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the close contact I have had with the bears, the wolves and the Seuses and their friends and partners.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

authentic, effective and delightful to be around.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

and would continue to preserve and protect as they do, with the same humility and dedication of purpose that they have now. They would be as good stewards of the money as they are of the land.

Ways to make it better...

I had had more money to give them.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

the complacency of a populace who doesn't acknowledge the importance of a healthy planet.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I trust and respect this organization and its people the longer I know them.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

 
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Rating: 4 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

They do excellent work! I've been a member since 2005 and have been pleased to see the progress the organization has made concerning protecting habitat for Grizzlies as well as in trying to mediate and eliminate conflict between ranchers and Grizzlies. The organization is also very good at keeping in touch with it's members, and in providing recent data and information about the organization and the Grizzly population.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

providing solid, accurate information about Grizzlies and their habitat - and their importance to the ecosystem - to the public and to it's members.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The openness of the organization in informing it's members of where and how their donations are used.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

Vital Ground Rocks! It is the best organization to participate in! It is all about the land and protecting it....before developments take over

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

that they have a wonderful staff and work on making the organization grow to new levels. The funds are used to protect land for the grizz. It is a wonderful organization!

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the people involved and that they really care about the mission.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

the best!!!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

protect enough land for the bears to move from eco system to eco system without the interference of man. They could help the bears to increase their numbers so they would not be endangered.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

 
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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

While I haven't had any personal experience with Vital Ground, I support & applaud any group that works to protect habitat for our wild creatures. Our wild lands are disappearing at an alarming rate, Vital Ground plays a vital roll in creating open space for our large predators to live freely.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

acquire more land to add to current Vital Ground purchases, providing more protection for habit for bear & all wild creatures.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

I heard about Vital Ground when I was a bear viewing guide in Alaska. I had been learning to track and studying bears for a few years and I wanted to know how people could safely live around bears. I read everything I could about bears as I was also watching bears in the wild inter-act between each other. I have come to admire Vital Ground's work as I have come to value bears themselves. There is no better way to ensure that the great bears will survive than to protect habitat for them. Vital ground shares my personal mission to teach people more about bears so they will value them, learn to be around them with respect and safety. Vital ground has always been there to answer my questions and supply me with brochures to give out at my talks. In watching the organization grow and accomplish things for bears over the years it is one of my favorite non-profits.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing habitat set aside for bears.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

spread out the staff to cover more of the Western States

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the professional nature of their persona

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

I have only talked to them on the phone and thought they were through and honest

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

secure more habitat and do more public education about bears with books, movies and public speaking.

Ways to make it better...

I lived closer so I could be more involved as a volunteer.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

human greed to get what they can from the planet without a care for the animals.

One thing I'd also say is that...

It would be great if there were some bear watching event which weren't so expensive.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-4-01

 
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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

I think this is a great organization with an admirable cause. I have had nothing but a positive experience with Vital Ground.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

make a huge difference for the grizzly well-being.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

 
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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

The majestic and misunderstood grizzly bear has almost vanished from the lower 48 states. Vital Ground's mission is to preserve what is left of this animal by purchasing private lands and using them towards grizzly re-population. Their work - and the organization's founder, Doug Seus - have inspired me to do my own work towards educating people about bears and helping to do away with the many of the old misconceptions. A fantastic organization whose work is critically important!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My own education about bears and learning of their importance. Now seeing how greatly misunderstood they are, it has become my passion to help preserve them. Education is key!

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

That they are working to re-establish the fading grizzly population to the United States. Vital Ground founder, Doug Seus, and his bears have showed me first-hand that peaceful co-existence is possible.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Courteous, kind, informative, and dedicated.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Restore a dying population of animals and create educational programs to help ensure the future survival of grizzlies.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

 
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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

Long time pilot, including lots of bush/mountain flying. Avid camper,hiker and photographer. I came to appreciate and respect the raw beauty and power of the grizzly. Absolutely still in awe, and saddened by their decline.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

their activities through documentaries, public education and their activities on the internet and social networking.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Worthwhile cause, and very active. Using the most modern methods of communication

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Make a measurable difference

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

 
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