The Bridger-Teton National Forest (BTNF) encompasses 3.4 million acres of public land and provides some of the nation’s best hunting, fishing, and wildlife viewing opportunities. As part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, it is some of the wildest and intact country in the lower 48 states. Our thousands of members use this area to harvest food for their families, wet a line after work, and create lasting memories with their families and friends- generation after generation. Ensuring responsible, modern management of the Bridger-Teton requires that the USFS complete an updated forest management plan that addresses current issues on the ground, reduces user conflicts, and conserves big game habitat including migrations like the Wyoming Range mule deer migration.
The current plan was completed in 1990. In the past 31 years the Bridger-Teton National Forest has seen significant changes including increased recreational use year-round and wildlife diseases. It’s WWF’s goal to have new scientific and social information, particularly related to wildlife habitat and migration corridors incorporated into an updated Forest Plan.
KEY CONSERVATION CONCERNS
Wyoming Range Mule Deer Migration
Rather than a single path, the Wyoming Range mule deer migration corridor is a highly braided set of routes that deer use to pass between the Hoback Rim above Bondurant south to Kemmerer. The corridor crosses two mountain ranges, the Salt River Range and the Wyoming Range with the longest treks being over 130 miles long.
Bighorn Sheep Conservation
Recently, an amendment was brought to the Bridger-Teton National Forest Plan to restock old, intentionally bought-out sheep grazing allotments. WWF and our partners worked to buy out these allotments and compensate livestock producers to ensure a healthy bighorn herd can survive.
Increased Recreational Use
Motorized and non-motorized use of landscapes continues to grow in Wyoming. With that comes the potential for unintentional negative impacts to wildlife, and wild places. The Federation will be monitoring this issue closely in the Bridger-Teton National Forest Plan.
Invasive Species & Noxious Weeds
Invasive species and noxious weeds such as cheatgrass and ventenata, are starting to create a mono-culture on parts of the National Forest. This is a huge concern for quality native wildlife habitat and needs to be addressed in the BTNF Plan.
If you have comments, questions, or concerns in the Bridger-Teton and want to get involved, email Info@wyomingwildlife.org
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