In Montana a young male bison grazes amidst June flowers inside the National Bison Range, whose management recently passed to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Indian Reservation. (Photograph from this issue's cover, by Donald M. Jones)
ANY OF YOU WHO HAVE been loyal readers for years—and those of you who have recently joined us—undoubtedly see how we treasure wildlife and nature photography for its power to enchant, educate and inspire. This issue offers a special celebration of the work of one conservation photographer, Suzi Eszterhas, who has devoted her 20-year career to documenting baby animals in the wild (Babes in Arms). From the playful pounce of a cheetah cub to the warm embrace of a mountain gorilla and her twins, these photographs convey the love, protection, tolerance and fatigue that any human parent will recognize.
A similar love between people and the land they treasure shines through in our piece about the transfer of the National Bison Range from the federal government to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT), whose Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana contains the bison range (Coming Full Circle). “With the restoration there’s a sense of justice done,” says former CSKT Council Vice Chair Leonard Gray. “There’s a sweetness, a breath of fresh air to know it is again tribal.”
Those of you who are birders may get a special kick out of our story about “spark birds” (Avian Obsession), the bird species that first inspired people to become birders. We hope that this and the other articles in this issue will spark your own passion for celebrating wildlife.
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More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.