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Habitat plan guides Game and Fish efforts for next 5 years

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has released the updated plan to guide work to improve and maintain quality habitat for fish and wildlife in Wyoming.

3/22/2021 9:15:23 PM

Cheyenne - The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has released the updated plan to guide work to improve and maintain quality habitat for fish and wildlife in Wyoming. The Statewide Habitat Plan (SHP) outlines Game and Fish’s habitat work for the next five years and prioritizes conserving critical habitat, restoring habitat and enhancing connectivity for fish and wildlife.  

“Quality habitat is essential to ensure a future of healthy and abundant wildlife and fish populations in Wyoming,” said John Kennedy, Game and Fish deputy director of internal operations. “The Statewide Habitat Plan outlines a single, unified roadmap for Game and Fish to prioritize projects that improve habitats across Wyoming.”

The SHP, which is updated every five years, is based on what land managers call a “holistic approach” to habitat management. That means the plan integrates management and various land uses through collaborative efforts with the general public, conservation partners, private landowners and land management agencies. 

“The Strategic Habitat Plan is truly informed by the public and our partners, who voiced their support for habitat work when the Department implemented a robust public engagement process. We recognized that perspective when Game and Fish wrote the strategic plan, and this update reflects how we are carrying out those goals,” said Paul Dey, aquatic habitat program manager and chair of the agency’s Habitat and Technical Advisory Group. 

One significant update to the 2020 plan is the inclusion of the latest-available science on recent and predicted climate changes. The plan considers the consequences of potential changes for aquatic and terrestrial habitat management in Wyoming.

“Game and Fish hosted a climate change workshop in conjunction with the Wildlife Conservation Society. Many of the topics and ideas that stemmed from this workshop are incorporated into the 2020 SHP, including information and research needs for climate-informed management planning,” Dey said.

This revision also incorporates recent information on species distributions and seasonal habitat delineations, updates and improves priority areas, clarifies how proposed habitat projects will be ranked and provides a suite of habitat actions to be pursued over the next five years..

The full plan is available on the Game and Fish Habitat website as well as an interactive story map where anyone can explore the 2020 SHP priority areas. The story map gives in-depth information on each priority area and the actions Game and Fish, alongside numerous habitat conservation partners, plan to implement. 

 

(Sara DiRienzo (307-777-4540))

- WGFD -

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