Some of our valley’s biggest advocates for wildlife protection come to us in very small packages. Students from Journey’s School teacher, Tracy Mulligan’s social studies class chose to do a poster project aimed at raising awareness about winter wildlife closures in Jackson Hole because of their love of wildlife and their desire to protect it.
“This poster project really came about because we’ve been studying sustainability- social and economic sustainability. And when we really started thinking about the concerns we have for the community, the students made some choices and made some lists and the thing that stuck in everyone’s hearts was wildlife protection,” said Mulligan.
Once the students started researching wildlife issues and threats to wildlife in winter, they came upon the Alliance’s Don’t Poach the Powder campaign and contacted us about doing a project. ” We love that the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance carries on the Don’t Poach the Powder campaign because it’s really important for our area and these future community leaders are on their way to making some great choices for our community,” Mulligan continued. One of those great choices was to create their very own colorful and informative Don’t Poach the Powder posters. They then took a field trip to hang the posters around their community in areas where they thought skiers and snowboarders would see them.
“We were inspired by the other people who were being cruel, just going into places that were closed and they were skiing over all the weeds and stuff for the animals to eat and the animals will die,” explained first grader, August Jost. These young wildlife advocates understand that when we disturb wildlife in the winter, we force them to expend precious energy, which can lead to a long, slow death. Students read about people violating the closures on Josie’s Ridge in the paper and wanted to help by informing and educating people about the closures. You can read about the violations here and here.
Each poster has pictures of wildlife, the Don’t Poach the Powder slogan, and most importantly, includes the Alliance’s Don’t Poach the Powder web address so that people can download maps of the closures.
Ms. Mulligan’s class split into two groups, one going to Wilson and the other into Jackson in order to hang their posters at local business. You can find the posters at Hungry Jacks, Teton Gravity Research, Street Food at the Stagecoach, Nora’s Fish Creek Inn, Wilson Backcountry Sports, and Pearl Street Bagels in Wilson. In Jackson, look for them at Hoback Sports, DOG, the Boardroom, Pinky G’s, Stio, High Country Outfitters, and the Jackson Whole Grocer.
The Alliance expects big things from these future conservation superheroes and current Don’t Poach the Powder ambassadors! We echo Mulligan’s sentiments, “Thanks guys, you’ve got great hearts.” Take a look at some close-ups of their wonderful posters hanging in our community.