NEWS

Wyoming conservation partners invested $12.9 million for habitat projects

The projects are crucial for conserving and growing populations of more than 800 species in Wyoming for future generations. 

8/9/2021 2:51:49 PM

Cheyenne - The Wyoming Game and Fish Department, in collaboration with many partners, invested more than $12.9 million for aquatic and terrestrial habitat projects in 2020. The projects are crucial for conserving and growing populations of more than 800 species in Wyoming for future generations. 

Game and Fish recently released the 2020 Strategic Habitat Plan Annual Report. Game and Fish allocated more than $3.3 million in funds for habitat projects - about double the prior year’s amount - and was able to leverage that for more than $9.6 million from the Wyoming Wildlife Natural Resources Trust fund, federal government funds, state funds, private landowners and local conservation partners. That number swelled $3 million from 2019. 

“Habitat conservation is one of the most important tools the Wyoming Game and Fish Department uses to sustain wild and healthy populations of aquatic and terrestrial wildlife,”  said Brian Nesvik,  Game and Fish director. “This work would not be possible without the wide-ranging support of the people of this state to ensure we leave Wyoming a better place.  I want to thank all project partners who invested in Wyoming’s wildlife habitats in 2020.”

The annual report details diverse accomplishments throughout the state. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, the department was able to execute 213 habitat projects. Game and Fish, alongside partners, helped direct restoration, monitoring and enhancement activities aimed at improving 271 stream miles and more than 712,898 acres of terrestrial habitats. Herbicide treatments to help control and prevent the spread of invasive weeds topped out at 85,186 acres, nearly double the 2019 effort. More details on projects and the species they impact can be found in the report.

Ian Tator, Game and Fish statewide terrestrial habitat manager, notes the five year Strategic Habitat Plan was revised and approved by the Commission in 2020. 

“The plan remains the cornerstone of habitat management in the state and directs Game and Fish efforts to focus on projects that invest in the future of Wyoming,” Tator said.

Habitat work in Wyoming could not be accomplished without partnerships. The Strategic Habitat Plan annual report shines a spotlight on annual habitat accomplishments achieved through collaboration. This year’s annual report profiles the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program for their contributions to aquatic stream restoration, fish passage, wetland development and other projects. 

“With our partners, we are able to maintain habitat as well as improve habitats that have been degraded,” Tator said. “This work truly makes an impact for wildlife and Wyoming.”

Current and past reports can be downloaded from the Game and Fish website. 

(Sara DiRienzo, Public Information Officer - (sara.dirienzo@wyo.gov))

- WGFD -

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