Idaho citizens and visitors alike share in the responsibility to protect and preserve Idaho’s wildlife populations. To thrive, wildlife requires a place to live that allows them to maintain their wild nature. This is only possible if people respect both the wildlife and their habitats.
We’re a committed coalition of local governments, businesses, non-governmental organizations, resource management agencies and concerned citizens striving to reduce human-wildlife conflict in the Wood River Valley. The coalition accomplishes this by providing guidance on best practices on becoming wildlife-safe communities and by providing recommendations and education to Wood River Valley residents and visitors to better understand how to take personal responsibility for the safety of people and pets and to ensure wildlife remains wild.
The Wood River Valley Wildlife Smart Communities coalition is a newly formed group of city and county governments, state and federal agencies, local businesses, non-governmental organizations and individuals striving to reduce human-wildlife conflicts in the Wood River Valley. The coalition came together after increasing interactions and conflicts with mountain lions occurred in the Wood River Valley during the winter of 2019 - 2020, some with lethal consequences for pets. While the immediate need was driven by conflicts with mountain lions, the Wood River Valley has an ongoing history of human-wildlife conflicts with black bears, elk, deer, and in recent years, moose. Coalition partners: Blaine County Commissioners Bureau of Land Management City of Ketchum City of Sun Valley City of Hailey City of Bellevue Idaho Department of Fish and Game US Forest Service – Sawtooth National Forest Idaho Conservation League Clear Creek DisposalJoin US!
The initial action by the coalition was providing a formal resolution to the city councils of Ketchum, Sun Valley, Hailey and Bellevue as well as the Blaine County Commissioners for their consideration. The resolution articulates the value of wildlife to the Wood River Valley, and recognizes the important roles that communities play in promoting responsible and safe habits of residents living in close proximity to wildlife. Over the summer of 2020, the resolution was passed by all four communities and the Blaine County Commission.
The coalition is committed to a Valley-wide effort to inform local residents and visitors about how a collective change in human behavior will result in fewer human – wildlife conflicts within Wood River Valley communities.