May 2021 - 13

PROJECT PROFILES
8

On a mission for you
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department works throughout the year to fulfill the mission
of " conserving wildlife, serving people. " A variety of projects, surveys and efforts are
underway across Wyoming to meet this charge. Some highlights of recent work include:

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Habitat improvement: The Thunder Basin Grasslands
Habitat Improvement project is benefiting sage grouse,
mule deer, pronghorn and other sagebrush obligate species
by addressing encroaching juniper, modifying fences to
wildlife-friendly specifications and replanting Wyoming big
sagebrush on a post-wildfire site. Game and Fish and the U.S.
Forest Service have treated 2,000 acres mechanically and
with prescribed burns. The remaining project components
are slated for completion later this year.

4

Fishing line bins: The Laramie Region habitat and access
crew teamed up with Laramie Valley Trout Unlimited to
install fishing line collectors at Laramie Plains Lakes. The
bins offer a safe place to dispose of used fishing line, which
can cause injury or death to wild animals that become
entangled in it.

5

Highway 789 work: Wildlife biologists in the Green
River Region have been working on projects to help
safely move ungulates across the Wyoming Highway 789
corridor. One of those projects involved clearing brush
surrounding the two large culverts at Cottonwood Creek
to make them as visually open as possible for mule deer
traffic in the Baggs Migration Corridor. In February Game
and Fish personnel, with help from the Little Snake River
Conservation District and a few volunteers, completed the
work. Biologists hope to extend the deer fence along the
highway to the north of its existing endpoint.

Wind River Range bighorn sheep: Game and Fish and
the University of Wyoming recently expanded their statewide, ongoing research on bighorn sheep by capturing
and collaring 14 animals from the Whiskey Mountain
herd north of Pinedale. Ewes were captured for disease
sampling, body condition measurements and fitted with
GPS collars and vaginal implant transmitters to learn more
about adult and lamb survival, nutritional condition,
migration patterns and the potential presence of disease.
Most of the herd winters on the north and east side of
the Wind River Range near Dubois, but a portion stays
on the west side utilizing wind-swept slopes on the high
peaks surrounding Green River Lakes.

Sublette pronghorn study: In February Game and Fish
deployed 75 GPS collars on doe pronghorn in numerous
areas across the entirety of the Sublette pronghorn herd.
In multiple studies between 2004-17, nearly 600 individual
pronghorn from the herd were fitted with GPS satellite
tracking collars, bringing to light one of the longest intact
big game migration corridors in North America. These newly
collared animals will provide data needed to delineate
migration routes and reveal important stopover areas
where animals stock up on nutrients along the way. The
data also will inform managers where to locate conservation measures such as fence modifications and improved
highway wildlife crossings.

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WHMA signage: Game and Fish has been adding new
signs on a selection of the 450,000 acres of wildlife habitat
management areas around the state. The signage efforts are
meant to increase awareness of the variety of recreational
activities, specifically trapping, allowed on Game and Fish
property, as well as how department lands are funded.
Initial signage was installed at the Ocean Lake and Sand
Mesa WHMAs in Fremont County. The new signs include a
QR code and a website link directing users to a recreation
webpage with information about opportunities on WHMAs.

7
Irrigation work at Wick/Beumee WHMA: The Laramie
Region habitat and access crew installed 4,800 feet of
irrigation pipe and constructed irrigation diversion boxes
on the Wick/Beumee Wildlife Habitat Management Area near
Arlington. The pipe will help reduce workloads and increase
efficiencies while protecting water rights on the property.

		

Yellowtail prescribed burn: Game and Fish did a prescribed burn on Yellowtail Wildlife Habitat Management
Area near Lovell to benefit migrating waterfowl. Game
and Fish worked with the Bureau of Land Management
and the National Park Service to burn approximately 55
acres around Leck Mayes Pond south of the Shoshone
River. The prescribed fire burned cattails to increase open
water for the benefit of migrating waterfowl. Game and Fish
plans to use other treatment methods and future seasonal
drawdowns of water in the pond to help control cattails.
Wyoming Wildlife | 13



May 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of May 2021

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https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/January2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/December2020
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