This story comes through a content-sharing partnership with Wyoming Public Media.
A new podcast wants to create a mutual understanding between both sides of the working lands and wildlife conservation debate in the West. The first season focuses on wolves.
About 50 years ago, wolves were almost non-existent in the lower 48 but then states look efforts to re-introduce the animal to the landscape. Now, wolves are in our region, and farmers and ranchers are dealing with the new reality of keeping their cattle alive.
Working Wild U co-host Alex Few said the podcast hopes to bridge the divide between those farmers and ranchers and those who believe wolves need more protection.
Few said they are trying to show shared values by taking the listener to a place to hear how much people are invested on both sides.
They’re goal is “to help people understand how much producers care about the well-being of the animals that they steward,” said Few. “[It’s] just as much as wolf advocates care about the well being of the wolves that are sharing the landscape of cattle.”
She said both value conservation but how they implement it is where the difference comes about.
“We [ranchers and farmers] like things to come bottom up and to reflect our local values and our local culture,” said Few. “And so that’s something that we wanted just to share and have people understand by giving a voice for those on working lands.”
Few said the podcast producers are trying to show these shared values by telling the stories behind both sides. The podcast is a collaboration between Montana State University Extension and the Western Landowners Alliance.