To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society. -Theodore Roosevelt

B&C Fellow - Christopher Hansen

University of Montana - Ph.D. - 2021
Conservation Benefits of Sustainable Land Use on Mammal Communities


Conservation Benefits of Sustainable Land Use on Mammal Communities

Ranching and, more specifically, livestock grazing is a common practice in the American West. Our goal to identify and quantify the conservation benefits of different livestock grazing strategies along the front range of the Rocky Mountains in western Montana. To answer this question, we will deploy camera traps on ranches across western Montana, including the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Ranch, and evaluate differences in mammal communities.

One of Chris’s projects involves the analysis of over 21,000 BLM grazing allotments in the western U.S. to evaluate trends in grazing patterns and vegetation resources over the past 30 years. He is using state-of-the-art, and recently developed technology, as the basis of his work. Additionally, he is working with many landowners on the front range in Montana to assess finer scale patterns of grazing and how the broader mammal community responds. Such work will provide critical information on the relationship between grazing and mammal communities in the western U.S. and inform land management and policy decisions. Fair Chase readers are familiar with Chris's research because he has provided his remote camera photos from the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Ranch for each issue of Fair Chase over the past couple years. 


 In 2017, Chris began his Ph.D. studies in the Wildlife Biology Program at the University of Montana. Since beginning his dissertation work, Chris has co-authored 6 additional research articles and one book chapter that have either been published or submitted to peer-reviewed journals. In addition to his dissertation work, Chris has been heavily involved in other communication and outreach projects, including helping mentor students with undergraduate research projects and teaching novice hunters about hunting, land ethics, and conservation through the “Hunting for Sustainability” program. Chris hopes to use the education and experience he obtains through this program to conduct wildlife research and apply that knowledge towards wildlife management and well-informed policy.


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"The wildlife and its habitat cannot speak. So we must and we will."

-Theodore Roosevelt