04 – Chasing ghosts: Can a mysterious bird galvanize a rural renaissance? 
How would you react if a birdwatcher's discovery put your entire way of life at risk?


Finding an imperiled species on his ranch scared the daylights out of Russell Davis. What he and his neighbors did next may have saved their town.  

Today on Working Wild U, join us as we return to the high plains of eastern Colorado to learn how a small ranching community transformed a migratory bird’s imperiled status from threat to opportunity. 

Links and references from Chasing ghosts: Can a mysterious bird galvanize a rural renaissance? 

Mountain Plover Festival: mountainploverfestival.com

Bird Conservancy of the Rockies: www.birdconservancy.org

More about the mountain plover and their listing status: ecos.fws.gov/ecp/species/B078 

Read more in On Land magazine: onland.westernlandowners.org/2023/stewardship-in-action/the-ghost-of-the-prairie/ 


Working Wild U is a production of Montana State University Extension and Western Landowners Alliance with support from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and you, our listeners. 

This episode was written and produced by Zach Altman with support from our hosts, Jared Beaver and Hallie Mahowald. 

Louis Wertz and Jared Beaver are our Executive Producers. Music is from Artlist and Blue Dot Sessions.  

Special thanks to Russell Davis, Katie Merewether, Dan Merewether, Lauren Connell, Brad Yuen, Carol, the Karval Community Alliance, Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, and the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program.

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