NEWS

Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative celebrates 10 years of impact

For 10 years the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative has been doing just that: conserving wildlife on a landscape-wide scale. 

1/2/2018 12:16:16 PM

Cheyenne - For 10 years the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative has been doing just that: conserving wildlife on a landscape-wide scale.

The landscape has been southwest Wyoming. An initiative that extensive has involved 10 core government entities, plus many ranches, teaming up not only to improve wildlife habitat but also make it easier for big game to move between seasonal ranges.

The initiative is headquartered in Rock Springs with full-time Game and Fish and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) coordinators and some interesting history. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey and the Wyoming Department of Agriculture also provide members to the initiative’s coordination team. Four project development teams direct the on-the-ground activity by county: Sublette, Carbon, Uinta/Lincoln and Sweetwater.  

“The initiative is a unique, comprehensive approach to conservation,” said Jim Wasseen, the Game and Fish’s WLCI initiative coordinator. “We feel like we’ve accomplished quite a bit in 10 years.”

Those accomplishments cover myriad projects including rejuvenating aspen, exterminating exotic invasive plants and making fences and highways easier for big game to negotiate. The team of federal, state and county entities has also been removing juniper from sagebrush steppe, promoting conservation easements, replacing culverts with trout-friendly structures that don’t constrict the stream and implementing many other projects.  

The initiative grew from a simple question posed in 2005 by former Game and Fish Commissioner Clark Allan of Jackson: “The BLM gets considerable wildlife habitat money in Utah, but doesn’t in Wyoming—why not?” Then Game and Fish Director Terry Cleveland approached the Wyoming BLM state director to get an answer. From there, the question was elevated to the BLM and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service national offices. Washington replied back: “OK, offer a plan.” So past Game and Fish deputy director John Emmerich and BLM’s then state direction, Don Simpson, worked on just that for a year.

“Our focus was a comprehensive coordinated effort to engage all agencies to work on the same goals – basically improving wildlife habitat,” Emmerich said. “We chose the Green River Basin as kind of a pilot project, because it’s the home range for several high profile big game herds.”
Emmerich and Simpson took the plan on the road. Other agencies and groups hopped onboard.  The initiative set sail in 2007.

Initially, the funding flowed well from Washington, but unfortunately federal conservation budgets tightened up. Some of the slack has been picked up by the Wyoming Governor’s Big Game License Coalition and Wyoming Wildlife – The Foundation.  But overall less funding has forced the coalition to be more selective in its projects in recent years.

Wasseen reports the initiative has served to connect players in the natural resources field. “The initiative has brought key parties to the same table, sometimes for the first time,” he said. “That has served to be a very healthy development.”

 

(Jeff Obrecht (307) 777-4532)

- WGFD -


Hunting season setting meetings begin in March

Anyone interested in Wyoming hunting is encouraged to attend a season-setting meeting being held March 21 to April 3 across the Cowboy State and offer opinions on proposed 2018 hunting seasons and regulations.

Continue reading...




Game and Fish’s Access Yes program provides over 2.5 million acres for hunting, angling

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Access Yes program provided over 2.66 million acres of access to lands for hunting and fishing in 2017.

Continue reading...




Wyoming Junior Duck Stamp artwork on display in Cheyenne

February is a good time to visit the Wyoming Game and Fish Department Cheyenne Headquarters to see the award-winning work of local youth artists. 

Continue reading...




Howard Fund donates $4,000 to support Access Yes, mule deer recovery

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department recently received a $4,000 donation from the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga- The Howard Fund.

Continue reading...




Local Pheasants Forever chapter donate $5,000 to support Access Yes

Sheridan and Johnson County Chapter of Pheasants Forever provided 40,000 acres of access in 2017

Continue reading...




Wild bison application period now open

Wild bison hunters can prepare to submit their applications for the 2018 season.

Continue reading...




Plan your hunt with help from Game and Fish

Many hunters know planning for the fall hunting seasons begins in at the first of the year; that’s when applications for many licenses begin to open and decisions about what species and where in Wyoming to hunt start.

Continue reading...




CWD found in deer hunt area near Hanna

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department diagnosed chronic wasting disease (CWD) for the first time in Deer Hunt Area 161 in the town of Hanna, Wyoming.

Continue reading...




Anglers encouraged to be safe on the ice

As ice fishing season progresses, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department advises anglers to use extreme caution while venturing out.

Continue reading...




Gillette game warden is Wyoming's 2017 Wildlife Officer of the Year

Dustin Kirsch, Gillette game warden, was named the “2017 Wildlife Officer of the Year” for Wyoming.

Continue reading...




Email Newsletter

Email Newsletter Sign Up

Stay up to date on all Wyoming Game and Fish news either by email or text message. Click the link below to get started.

Sign Up Today

SHOP WYOMING GAME & FISH STORE   SHOP NOW!

Conserving Wildlife - Serving People