The 2024 Wildlife Speaker Series!!

8 topics, 8 locations, 8 opportunities to learn something amazing!

The 2024 Wildlife Speaker Series will inform you, while providing food for thought and your belly! We are planning 8 events. Here’s a little more about what we know so far. If you have any questions, just email Dave.

Date: On Thursday, June 13, join the Beaverhead Watershed Committee at 6:00 for a meal and then at 6:30 for a presentation on migratory animals. The venue will be at the Dillon Depot Theater. Speaker will be Collin Peterson, Project Coordinator with the National Wildlife Federation, and he will be focusing on migratory animals and some of the hopeful solutions to their migratory challenges.

Date: On June 26, the Madison Valley Ranchlands Group will be hosting an event on Sandhill Cranes, with a presentation by staff from the Intermountain West Joint Venture. The location will be the Sacred Pine Ranch, off South Meadow Creek Road near McAllister, MT. It’s the first left after the N/S Meadow Creek Junction. There will be a potluck dinner starting at 6pm with a main dish provided by MVRG Partners–if your last name begins with A-L, bring a side dish; if M-Z, bring a dessert. The presentation will begin at 6:30. These big, surprisingly graceful birds have been filling our valleys with song and dance for a lot longer than we have–come learn more about them!

Date: On July 13, from 6pm to 8pm, the Jack Creek Preserve, whose venue itself is worth the trip, regardless of their speaker’s topic, will host a presentation on “Wildlife, Montana, and Working Landscapes” (Potluck dinner starts at 6–bring a side, salad, or dessert–the main dish of pulled pork sandwiches provided.) Also provided, and thanks to Burnt Tree Brewing, will be a keg of beer. Dr. Jared Beaver, Assistant Professor and Extension Wildlife Specialist for Montana State University will discuss the vital role of rural working lands for wildlife conservation, along with some information about emergin technologies and wildlife conflict case uses, the importance of translating research into life applications, as well as wildlife management and your property. Wow. If you’ve ever seen Jared speak, you know his passion for Montana’s wildlife and landscapes is contagious! The location is Jack Creek Preserve, 1206 Jack Creek Road, near Ennis, MT.

Date: On July 17, The Big Hole Watershed Committee is planning a presentation on Grizzly Bears at the Divide Grange Hall in Divide, Montana. Last year, the Ruby Valley Conservation District’s presentation on these toothy critters was so well received, we decided to do another one in a different location. Clearly, there is lots of interest in the biology of bruins. Returning speaker Cecily Costello, PhD, with Montana’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks, will provide you with some of the most amazing information about these apex predators, from their diet (surprisingly less-meat focused than you might think!) to their current range. There will be a potluck dinner (please bring a side dish, salad, or dessert) with a main course of elk burgers (sometimes on the bears’ menu, too!) provided by BHWC Board members–the meal will start at 6 and the presentation will be from 6:30-7:30.

Date: July 23 the Ruby Valley Conservation District & Watershed Council will host a program on Moose with returning speaker Nick DeCesare, a research biologist with Fish, Wildlife and Parks. These massive mammals frequent the Ruby Valley and there has been a lot of study into their relative health. It seems like we have more in the valley in the past 5 years than we did previously. This presentation promises to shed some more light on these handsome animals. The location will be Jackson’s Garden, located at 125 Mill Creek Road, about 3 miles east of Sheridan up Mill Creek Road, and dinner will be provided by Jackson’s Garden starting at 5:30pm with the presentation at 6:30.

Date: August 1, the Ruby Habitat Foundation will host a presentation on Mountain Lions. Join us for a BBQ meal & Potluck (BBQ provided, free…please bring a side dish or dessert) at 5:30pm and at 7:00pm presentation by Joshua Lisbon from the MPG Ranch in the Bitterroot on these elusive cats and their social behavior in the wild. You won’t want to miss this one! The location is the Ruby Habitat Foundation’s Waldie-Kanouse Visitor Center, located just shy of 2 miles NW of the teeny-tiny town of Laurin–find the bridge over the river and then follow Ruby River Drive and watch for signs.

Date: August 7: the Madison Valley Conservation District will host a presentation on Bighorn Sheep. FWP Biologist Julie Cunningham’s engaging presentation promises to inform and delight! The event will be held at the Madison Theater in Ennis, MT, and there will be FREE pizza at 5:30pm, followed by a presentation from 6 to 7pm. Contact for more information.

Date: On August 14, the Centennial Valley Association will sponsor a presentation on Owls. Denver Holt, the Founder and President of the Owl Research Institute will share his owly wisdom–you’ll be sure to learn a lot! There will be a potluck dinner at 6pm followed by a presentation at 7pm. The location is the Taft-Nicholson Center, located at 277700 South Valley Road, Lima, MT 59739, in the Centennial Valley.


The mission and vision of the Wildlife Speaker Series of SW Montana is as follows

Mission:  To provide free, fun, unbiased and fact-based presentations educating the public about wildlife of SW Montana and the issues facing these animals.  These events are organized and sponsored by a collaborative of local, conservation-oriented groups.

Vision:  We will educate and inspire people to care more about local wildlife and the ecosystems we share with them.

Your donations of financial support are very much appreciated and can be made by clicking here.


We are all proud to host these events which provide both educational and inspirational content. And, we could not do this alone. We appreciate your financial support, and wish to recognize those outside our groups who have supported us. These include: