Two-Medicine Voices Speaker Series

Be Informed, Be Inspired.

Glacier-Two Medicine Alliance hosts an annual speaker series that explores timely topics related to conservation in the Crown of the Continent ecosystem. Through thoughtful presentations and community dialog, the speaker series seeks to raise awareness of important issues, further shared understanding, and foster personal reflection.

The series seeks to feature diverse perspectives and expertise, including those of tribal leaders, government officials, scientists, academics, and practitioners.

The Two Medicine Voices Speaker Series typically runs monthly April through September. Unless otherwise noted, presentations are live and in-person in East Glacier, free of charge (donations encouraged), and open to the public. Recordings are typically posted to our YouTube channel the week after the presentation. Live-stream is not presently possible due to rural internet limitations.

2024 Theme

Protecting and Restoring Wildlife Along the Front

Native Fish Conservation in Glacier National Park

July 17, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Chris will discuss efforts to conserve native fish in Glacier National Park.

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Bats in Our Ecosystem

August 14, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Glacier National Park Wildlife Biologist Lisa Bate talks about bats in our ecosystem.

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Speaker Recordings
Moose Abundance and Calf Recruitment on the Blackfeet Reservation and in Glacier National Park

Landon Magee, University of Montana Graduate Student and Blackfeet Fish & Wildlife Biologist

Moose populations, including those in and around Montana, have experienced declines in abundance and recruitment rates, prompting the need for increased monitoring efforts. However, monitoring moose is challenging due to the limitations of conventional survey methods, which are exacerbated by their low-density and solitary nature, preference for dense habitat, and lack of distinguishing markings. To address these challenges, we employed new survey methods to estimate moose abundance and calf recruitment in the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and Glacier National Park Using data from trail cameras deployed during the summers of 2022 and 2023. The Blackfeet Tribe, with support from the University of Montana and Glacier National Park, will assess the efficacy of these models in estimating moose demographics and informing conservation strategies. Given the importance of moose to the tribe's revenue through hunting permits, sustainable management strategies are vital in the absence of baseline data.

Bridging the Future: Wildlife Crossings

Ben Goldfarb, Independent Conservation Journalist Department Hydrologist

Some 40 million miles of roadways encircle the earth, yet we tend to regard them only as infrastructure for human convenience. While roads are so ubiquitous they’re practically invisible to us, wild animals experience them as entirely alien forces of death and disruption. In Crossings: How Road Ecology is Shaping the Future of Our Planet, environmental journalist Ben Goldfarb travels throughout the United States and around the world to investigate how roads have transformed our planet. and how conservationists, engineers, animal rehabbers, and community organizers are working to undo the havoc highways have wreaked upon American cities.

Ben will join us and read excerpts from his book, as well as invite us into conversation about the lessons and insights his research may offer as we work to confront the growing threat our increasingly busy highways, like Highway 2 between Columbia Falls and East Glacier, present to wildlife.

2023 Theme

Climate Change and Resilience in the Crown of the Continent

Speaker Recordings
The Blackfeet Nation’s Climate Adaptation Plan

Termaine Edmo, Climate Change Coordinator for the Blackfeet Nation
Blackfeet Nation Climate Change Coordinator Termaine Edmo unpacks the Tribe’s climate adaptation plan and explores some of the innovative ways the Tribe is building ecological and cultural resilience.

Blackfeet Nation Drought Resilience and Climate Adaption

Tyrel Fenner, Blackfeet Water Department Hydrologist
Hydrologist Tyrel Fenner explores the affects of climate change on water resources, including surface flows and ground water, and the Blackfeet Nation’s efforts to improve drought resiliency.

Grizzly Bears and Climate Change: What Might the Future Bring?

Dr. Cecily Costello, Montana FWP Research Wildlife Biologist
Biologist Dr. Cecily Costello explores how the changing climate may impact grizzly bears and grizzly bear behavior and what this might mean for their future in this rapidly developing landscape.

Impacts of Climate Change on Traditional and Modern Food Access and Security

Danielle Antelope, FAST Blackfeet Executive Director
Danielle, a member of the Blackfeet Nation and Eastern Shoshone Nation, shares plant knowledge and the effects of climate change that she has witnessed on the land.

2022 Theme

Wildlife Connectivity in the Crown of the Continent

Speaker Recordings
Recovering Westslope Cutthroat Trout in the Badger-Two Medicine

Alex Poole, Montana FWP fisheries biologist
Did you know that despite its name, westslope cutthroat trout once thrived in the Upper Missouri River Basin, including in the Two Medicine watershed? Today, due to habitat loss, competition, and hybridization, Montana’s state fish still swims in only a fraction of its historic range. Poole discusses efforts to protect and restore this native fishery in the Badger-Two Medicine as well as other streams along the Rocky Mountain Front.

Montana's Clown Faced Ducks' Amazing Journey

Holli Holmes, Glacier National Park
Harlequin ducks are one of Montana’s most distinctive yet rare waterfowl. Every spring nature enthusiasts eagerly await the return of these colorful ducks to their breeding grounds along cold, fast flowing rivers and streams. Only about 200 pairs of Harlequins nest in Montana, most of which nest in or near Glacier National Park. Unfortunately these numbers appear to be declining for reasons scientists don’t quite comprehend. Join Glacier National Park wildlife technician Holli Holmes as she takes us into the life of this special bird and its annual migration from the sea to the mountains and back again. Holmes will discuss why Harlequins have been designated a species of concern and the international and multi-agency efforts to better understand the species’ movements and habitat needs as well as ways to potentially reverse its population decline. Participants will learn how they can help researchers track these elusive birds.

Wildlife Movement Across US Highway 2 and the BNSF Railway

Tabitha Graves, US Geological Survey
Glacier National Park and the adjacent Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex comprise one of the largest expanses of protected habitat for grizzly bears and other sensitive fish and wildlife species left in the United States. Yet right through the middle runs Highway 2 and the BNSF railway, a vital transportation corridor that poses a growing risk to the ability of wildlife to move freely and securely access different habitats, a risk that continues grow as visitation to Glacier National Park and the local population continue to increase. Tabitha Graves, a research ecologist for the U.S. Geological Survey based out of West Glacier, MT, will explore how this transportation corridor affects wildlife movement and population demographics, with an emphasis on grizzly bears, and some potential steps to mitigate these effects. Afterward we’ll discuss one simple thing you can do to help ensure grizzly bears and other wildlife can continue to roam across this corridor.

Mountain Goats in Glacier and their Lessons for Wildlife Connectivity in the Crown

Mark Biel, Glacier National Park
Mountain goats are nearly synonymous with Glacier National Park and a familiar sight to anyone who has hiked in the Park’s subalpine and alpine environments. Yet there is much we still do not understand about how these animals utilize and survive in these harsh environments, nor how they are responding to the effects of climate change on their high-elevation habitat. Glacier National Park biologist Mark Biel, the famed owner of Gracie the “Bark Ranger,” will take us on a fascinating journey into the rocky, icy world of mountain goats in Glacier National Park. Mark will discuss his on-going research in to how mountain goats utilize the landscape and how climate changes is affecting their food sources, behavior, movement and survival. Mountain goats, Mark’s research offers new insight into the connection between climate, snowpack, and the health of mountain goat populations. Their findings may surprise you, not only for what insights they offer about mountain goats, but also the lessons these talented climbers have to teach us about the movements of other wildlife species across the broader landscape and what climate change may portend for their future.

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