Environmental Quality Protection, Beautification

Vital Ground Foundation Inc

  • Missoula, MT
  • http://www.vitalground.org/

Mission Statement

The mission of The Vital Ground Foundation is to protect and restore North America's grizzly bear populations by conserving wildlife habitat.

Main Programs

  1. Cabinet-Purcell Wildlife Linkage Initiative

service areas

Montana

Self-reported by organization

Areas Served Narrative

Vital Ground's working region encompasses the three U.S. Pacific-northwestern states where grizzly bear recovery efforts are actively underway: Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. Vital Ground has provided project support/funding to other groups working in Washington, Alaska, and British Columbia.

Self-reported by organization

ruling year

1992

Principal Officer since 2004

Dr. Gary J. Wolfe Ph.D.

Self-reported by organization

Keywords

grizzly bear, grizzly, wildlife, habitat, conservation, easement, land acquisition, private landowners, endangered species, recovery, linkage

Self-reported by organization

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EIN

87-0483446

 Number

7360514485

Physical Address

20 Fort Missoula Rd

Missoula, MT 59804 7202

Also Known As

Vital Ground

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Protection of Endangered Species (D31)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (W12)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Impact statement

Working cooperatively with landowners, local communities, and state and federal agencies, Vital Ground addresses the issue of habitat fragmentation head-on by permanently protecting crucial private lands for the benefit of grizzly bears and other wide-ranging wildlife. Since its founding in 1990, Vital Ground has helped to protect and enhance nearly 600,000 acres of habitat and landscape linkages.

Programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Self-reported by organization

Program 1

Cabinet-Purcell Wildlife Linkage Initiative

Vital
Ground is currently fundraising to secure its first two land acquisitions within
grizzly bear/wildlife linkage zones in northwestern Montana via the Cabinet-Purcell
Wildlife Linkage Initiative.
The projects were identified by the Private Lands Working Group, an international
team of state and federal wildlife agencies, wildlife biologists, and NGOs. In the
U.S. these are Vital Ground, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks; in Canada these are the Trans-border Grizzly
Bear Project and the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative.

Of
the land acquisition priorities the Private Lands Working Group has set in the
Cabinet-Purcell Wildlife Linkage Initiative working region of northwestern
Montana, two properties rank highest due to: 1) their current availability on
the open real estate market; and 2) their ripeness for development if sold to
non-conservation buyers and the subsequent threat of linkage disruption and
wildlife displacement. The first property is located in the northern tier of
the USFWS Cabinet-Yaak Grizzly Bear Recovery Zone along U.S. Hwy. 2, less than
one mile southeast of the Yaak River-Kootenai River confluence. The second
property is located just south of the Recovery Zone near Montana Hwy. 200, 2.5
miles northwest of the Bull River-Clark Fork River confluence. Both properties
adjoin Kaniksu National Forest lands.

Category

Environment

Budget

$1,400,000.00

Population Served

General Public/Unspecified

service areas

Montana

Self-reported by organization

Areas Served Narrative

Vital Ground's working region encompasses the three U.S. Pacific-northwestern states where grizzly bear recovery efforts are actively underway: Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. Vital Ground has provided project support/funding to other groups working in Washington, Alaska, and British Columbia.

Self-reported by organization

Blog

The organization's Blog

Social Media

@vitalground

@vitalground

@ForTheGrizzly

@vitalground/

Funding Needs

Contributions and grants to fund Phase I of Vital Ground's Cabinet-Purcell Wildlife Linkage Initiative, representing $1.4 million for the acquisition of two key parcels of wildlife linkage and habitat in northwestern Montana.

Affiliations + Memberships

Land Trust Alliance

Videos

photos




External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

THE VITAL GROUND FOUNDATION INC
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Vital Ground Foundation Inc

Leadership

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Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2012
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Principal Officer

Dr. Gary J. Wolfe Ph.D.

BIO

Gary Wolfe is a career conservationist with more than 35 years of experience working in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. He attended the University of New Mexico, majoring in biology and chemistry, then earned masters and doctorate degrees in wildlife biology from Colorado State University. Dr. Wolfe spent 12 years as a wildlife biologist at the 500,000-acre Vermejo Park Ranch in northern New Mexico, followed by 15 years with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, including 3 years as President and Chief Executive Officer.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"It is an exciting and challenging time to be working in wildlife conservation, as the daunting pressures on wild habitats build. Vital Ground prides itself in being a lean yet highly successful organization dedicated to one mission: conserving habitat for the grizzly—habitat that will also sustain nature’s web for all other creatures in grizzly country.
Vital Ground is effective because we focus on connections. We connect people through partnerships and connect ecosystems through lands conservation. On every project, we build collaboration between landowners, conservationists, agencies and businesses. Our success lies in our ability to work with a broad variety of allies, always seeking the greater good for wildlife and eschewing “ownership” of any specific project.

We are proud of our ability to have a positive influence on the survival and health of grizzly bears and their ecosystems in the United States and Canada.

None of this would be possible without the dedication of our loyal members and donors, and we pledge to put every dollar to work efficiently for the bears and for the wilds.

Gary J. Wolfe, Ph.D.
Executive Director"

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Robert W. Koons

Wildlife Land Trust

Term: Nov 2007 - Oct 2010

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization


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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?