As bands of sheep begin their summer migration into the mountains, the Wood River Wolf Project is embarking on its 13th season providing ranchers with nonlethal predator deterrents.

The project’s steering committee and the Lava Lake Institute for Science & Conservation announced that Logan Miller has been hired as field manager from June to October. According to a press release, Miller is a recent graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural sustainability from Arizona State University and has spent many summers in the Wood River Valley visiting his grandparents. He fell further in love with the area while working on a U.S. Forest Service trail crew in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, the release states.

“Logan brings important skills to the position,” said Suzanne Stone, who oversees the project and has been involved since its inception in 2007, in the release. “Logan’s intimate knowledge of the area, his work in sustainability, fluency in Spanish and his backcountry skills make him uniquely qualified for the position.”

The job entails providing livestock producers and their employees the help they need to prevent predator conflicts while monitoring wolves and other predators.

“I am very excited to join the Wood River Wolf Project and its inspiring effort to create a relationship of respect between wolves, livestock producers and the community of the Wood River Valley,” Miller said. “Despite all the challenges, I look forward to getting to know the shepherds, past and future volunteers and the community where this project took off. I can’t wait to jump into this new chapter of my life!”

The project was started in 2007 by the nonprofit conservation group Defenders of Wildlife to save the lives of both wolves and livestock. In 2016, Defenders handed the leadership role to the Lava Lake Institute, a nonprofit organization founded by Brian and Kathleen Bean, co-owners of the sheep-producing business Lava Lake Land & Livestock.

The project works with five regional sheep producers that bring their sheep up for the summer to graze on U.S. Forest Service allotments on the Ketchum Ranger District. It provides them with deterrent equipment and technical assistance, including wolf and sheep band monitoring and grazing site risk evaluation.

The project is funded by donations and grants through Blaine County, the Wood River Women’s Foundation and others. For more information, visit woodriverwolfproject.org or the project’s Facebook page or contact info@woodriverwolfproject.org.

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