Water for Wildlife: a hidden Lander gem
Lander is an active community with a lot of busy nonprofits doing quality work. One that often flies under the local radar, however, is Water for Wildlife.
It’s been in existence in 1975, and began as an arm or subset of the One Shot Past Shooter’s Club. It exists primarily to provide water-related projects for wildlife of all variety of species.
To date, WFW has conducted 493 projects in 12 different states, Foundation Director Erica Flom says. And the organization proudly states that 183 of those projects are in Wyoming (the most out of any of the states where they work). The projects range from solar-powered water well pumps, natural springs restorations, underground storage systems, and “guzzlers” to collect snowmelt. While the projects have a direct affect on the targeted wildlife population (which have included everything from pronghorn to birds to reptiles), the projects also benefit other conservation efforts and the hunting community.
2017 is gearing up to be one of the busiest years ever for WFW. The foundation has approved 16 new projects to start this year (average implementation time is 3 years), the most ever approved in one year. Ten of those projects are in Wyoming. That amounts to about $72,000 in project funding across all new projects.
Additionally, the foundation is working on upping the amount of education it provides to youth here and in other states. As Flom says, interest in and the future of wildlife conservation has to start with children. WFW also takes part in other aspects of the local community; it provided 4 $1,000 scholarships to students from Lander and Shoshoni this year, contributed $125,000 to the construction of the Lander Community Center, and game $25,000 toward fish habitat restoration work on the Middle Fork of the Popo Agie.