Local efforts to protect wildlife habitat in the Blackfoot Valley will be featured in the upcoming public television program entitled “State of the Planet’s Wildlife.” This program, part of the critically acclaimed series Journey to Planet Earth, airs April 18 at 8 p.m. on MontanaPBS.

Hosted and narrated by actor Matt Damon, the program focuses on efforts around the world where local residents are working for the benefit of wildlife. One of the locations is Montana’s Blackfoot Valley, where a coalition of landowners, conservation groups and local residents are working to protect their landscape, their way of life and the area’s incredible wildlife habitat.

The program’s producers, Screenscope Productions, spent more than a week last summer in the Blackfoot interviewing local residents, ranchers and wildlife experts. The program will feature their efforts to restore the valley and its famous river. It will also portray local efforts to co-exist with the grizzly population and introduce trumpeter swans.

"The Blackfoot communities have a long successful history of coming together to conserve the Blackfoot River Valley's incredible wildlife habitat and rural ranching values. It's a special place, and the Conservancy is proud to have been a part of these efforts for more than 30 years," -- Caroline Byrd, The Nature Conservancy's western Montana program director.

The April 18th program, State of the Planet's Wildlife poses one of the most critical questions of the 21st century: why are nearly half of the world's wildlife species facing extinction within the next few decades? The program is a global investigation of what scientists call "the sixth great extinction of the world's animals and plants."

For more information about Journey to Planet Earth, visit www.montanapbs.org or check the PBS web site at: www.pbs.org/journeytoplanetearth/

Quality television has the power to elevate our understanding of the world, encourage respect for one another, and influence our lives in a positive way. MontanaPBS shares diverse stories; connects our citizens; discovers common ground; and celebrates the independent spirit and beauty of Montana.