Alumna Works With the USDA Wildlife Services as a Conflict Prevention Specialist
Chrissy Lambert '22, a conservation and wildlife management alumna, is working for USDA Wildlife Services as a Conflict Prevention Specialist, where she travels all over western Montana to install electric fencing and turbo fladry to deter wolves and bears from livestock. Turbo fladry is the red flagging material, used during calving season to protect calves when they’re most vulnerable to wolf depredation. Wolves are cautious animals, so the flags waving in the wind help to ward them off from entering the enclosure altogether. Fladry is a tool that’s used temporarily during times of high conflict. Fladry is only kept up for 30-90 days so the wolves don’t become habituated to it, making it no longer effective.
Montana state law requires that livestock have identification in order to sell, transport, and claim ownership. Branding is a tool for livestock identification, and it is done in a low-stress environment where additional animal husbandry is done like vaccines and dehorning.
"I absolutely love my job. Most days it doesn’t feel like work. It’s a niche position, an intersection of agriculture and wildlife in which I am privileged to serve both communities. I spend time with ranchers, listening to their stories and experiences in the west. I spend time in the field deploying fencing to protect livestock, which inherently protects the wildlife that interacts with them. It’s a win-win for everyone, and everyday I’m incredibly grateful to be in this position and have an agency that invests in me," said Lambert.