‘My Wild Land’ Film Series Wins National Conservation Media Award – University of Wyoming News

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The “My Wild Land” film series, a production of the Wyoming Migration Initiative
at the University of Wyoming and presented by the Muley Fanatic Foundation with support
from Maven, received multiple awards this year. “Terry Creek Ranch” is one of the
stories featured in the film series. (Wyoming Migration Initiative Photo)

A Wyoming-produced film series on ranchers who have taken on conservation projects
for wildlife recently received a national film and media award.

“My Wild Land” was selected by Two Percent for Conservation as the first-place winner
of its 2023 Conservation Media Awards for film and photography. Two Percent for Conservation is a nonprofit organization that certifies dedicated conservationists who give at
least 1 percent of their time and at least 1 percent of their money to conservation

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“My Wild Land” is a three-part series featuring ranches from across Wyoming: the Terry
Creek Ranch near Laramie, the Bischoff Ranch near Lovell and the Hellyer family ranch
near Lander. The films, produced by the Wyoming Migration Initiative at the University
of Wyoming, were previously named official selections of the Wyoming International
Film Festival and the 307 International Film Festival.

Terry Creek Ranch also was an official selection of the Wild and Working Lands Film Festival presented
by UW’s Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources.

The films are presented by the Muley Fanatic Foundation with support from Maven. The
effort was launched to tell the story of wildlife conservation on private lands amid
rapid rural-residential development and habitat loss across Western states in recent

“The glimpse of insight these films provide to the stewardship responsibilities and
efforts to further active conservation pursuits is worth celebration,” says Joshua
Coursey, president and CEO of the Muley Fanatic Foundation. “In a day and age where
habitat fragmentation is occurring rapidly, these films offer a breath of fresh air
for what we know works in sustaining healthy wildlife populations: large open spaces.”

image for award with mountain lake and sunset

The Conservation Media Award is presented by Two Percent for Conservation to media
that elevate fish and wildlife conservation. The 2023 first-place award for film and
photo was given to “My Wild Land,” a film series about ranchers who have done work
for conservation of migratory big-game habitats. (Two Percent for Conservation Photo)

Each film shares the unique perspective of the landowners, their relationships to
the land and the challenges they’ve faced while maintaining cattle operations and
promoting wildlife habitat.

“The ranchers and the lessees of these properties are the ones who are taking care
of the land — they’re the ones out there doing the waterline projects and the fencing
projects,” says Tyrell Bischoff, manager of the Bischoff Ranch and one of the film
series’ featured ranchers.

The narratives highlight the importance of working lands to Wyoming’s migratory wildlife

“Many of Wyoming’s wildlife move across a mix of public and private ranchlands,” says
Emily Reed, co-producer of the film series and now conservation project manager with
Jackson Hole Land Trust. “The work of ranchers to steward their lands and maintain
connected habitats is critical for wildlife populations, and we wanted to help tell
that story.”

“We want to extend our gratitude to the landowners and their families who shared their
stories for this film series,” says Patrick Rodgers, co-producer of the film series
and a Wyoming Migration Initiative associate research scientist. “Their dedication
to ensuring the future of open spaces, ranching heritage in the American West and
wildlife conservation is truly inspiring.”

The films are available online for free public viewing at www.vimeo.com/showcase/MyWild.

The award comes as the Wyoming Migration Initiative recently released a new film on large-mammal migrations around Grand Teton National Park.

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