BLM and WGFD move forward with $3.2 million Wyoming Range Mule Deer Habitat Project
by Bureau of Land Management
November 12, 2014
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Pinedale Field Office and Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) initiated several steps as part of the first year of the eight- to ten-year Wyoming Range Mule Deer Habitat Project along the eastern front of the Wyoming Range in Sublette and Lincoln counties, Wyoming.
The nearly 30,000-acre project includes phased vegetation treatments to improve crucial winter and transition habitat for mule deer. The treatments are planned in a mosaic pattern to have maximum impact with minimum disturbance and include mowing sagebrush, bitterbrush, mountain mahogany, salt desert shrub and aspen, aeration, seeding, pitting, Plateau® herbicide, fencing, conifer thinning and prescribed burning. The vegetation treatments are intended mainly to enhance mule deer habitat but will also benefit sage-grouse, pronghorn, elk, moose and migratory bird species.
This year, $304,630 funded applying Plateau® herbicide to 69 acres, pitting 78 acres for seed, mowing 1,363 acres, mechanically preparing 2,956 acres of aspen for eventual pile burning, spraying 300 acres for cheatgrass, constructing five miles of fence to rest treated areas and conducting 5,258 acres of cultural surveys in preparation for future treatments.
In 2015, plans include aerating 1,313 acres, mowing 770 acres, mechanically preparing 591 acres of aspen, cutting and piling 22 acres of aspen, spraying 300 acres of cheatgrass, constructing five miles of fencing to ensure rest, and having two range riders temporarily push livestock from treated areas to provide rest from grazing.
The entire habitat project is estimated to cost approximately $3.2 million. Contributions so far include $500,000 from The Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust, $350,000 from Denbury Resources, Inc., $180,000 from the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative, $60,000 from the BLM, $30,000 from the WGFD, $25,000 from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, $20,000 from the Wyoming Governor’s Big Game License Fund and $15,750 from ExxonMobil.
For more information, please visit www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/NEPA/documents/pfo/wy-range.html or contact Rusty Kaiser at 307-367-5317.