The Teton Regional Land Trust was honored to host Dr. George Archibald, world renowned crane expert and Co-founder of the International Crane Foundation, last week in Jackson, Wyoming. Archibald gave his “Cranes, Grains and Gains” presentation at the National Wildlife Art Museum to a crowd of crane enthusiasts. The presentation shared the story of communities and conservationists working together to create partnerships that benefit family farms and cranes around the world.
Here in the Greater Yellowstone region, we are fortunate to have Sandhill cranes. Many bird conservation organizations identify Sandhill cranes as an important umbrella species. These cranes are drivers for conservation initiatives because protecting them and their habitat provides benefits for other wildlife species. Cranes need expansive areas like Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, secure wetlands—such as conservation easement properties, and connected agricultural lands to nest and rear their young. In fall, a large number flock throughout Teton Valley as they prepare for their migration south to New Mexico and Mexico.
Teton Valley provides crucial habitat for Sandhill cranes that summer and breed throughout the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) to complete their annual cycles. In fact, Teton Valley is the largest migration staging area for Sandhill Cranes in the entire GYE. “The Teton Valley Crane Project, led by the Land Trust and partners, aims to secure the future of Teton Valley’s critical Sandhill crane habitat by working with local farmers and landowners to provide grain food plots for cranes, as well as protect habitat through voluntary permanent land protection,” said Joselin Matkins, Teton Regional Land Trust Executive Director, “we were so honored to share this project with George.”
The future of cranes was once as fragile as the graceful birds themselves. George Archibald’s visionary leadership in international conservation efforts over the past 40 years has encouraged worldwide crane conservation. In 1973, when cranes were in a perilous situation and many were on the brink of extinction, Archibald, along with Cornell University colleague, Ronald Sauey, Ph.D., established the International Crane Foundation (ICF) in Baraboo, Wisconsin as the world center for the study and preservation of cranes. Archibald is a true conservation ambassador who uses his unique brand of diplomacy to work in sensitive places. He leverages the charisma of cranes to unite people from diverse cultures and countries to work together to preserve the landscapes necessary for the survival of both cranes and people. To learn more about ICF, please visit: www.savingcranes.org.
For more information about this conservation easement or the Teton Regional Land Trust please call 208-354-8939 or visit www.tetonlandtrust.org.