Regional Offices > Lander Region > Lander Region News > Did we find cheatgrass on bighorn sheep winter range?

Did we find cheatgrass on bighorn sheep winter range?

June 26, 2020
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Lander - Recently the Wyoming Game and Fish Department surveyed Torrey Rim outside of Dubois, Wyoming for the prevalence of cheatgrass, an invasive species. Torrey Rim is an important winter range for the Whiskey Mountain Bighorn Sheep Herd and efforts are being made to examine all the factors contributing to low lamb recruitment in this herd.  This survey is one action item produced through the work of the the recent public collaborative process focused on finding ways to help the Whiskey Mountain bighorn sheep herd.

On a mid-June day amid snow flurries and breath-taking scenery,  34 people from USFS, BLM, WGFD, USFWS, Weed and Pest, National Bighorn Sheep Center, and the public worked together to survey (walk) 165 transects that made up 88 miles of ground on the Rim.  Luckily, only one patch of cheatgrass was found, and it is in an area where it can be treated/removed fairly easily. 

Because cheatgrass was not prevalent on the landscape, the U.S. Forest Service will move forward with plans for a controlled burn of the timber above the rim. This burn is planned to address habitat quality for bighorn sheep in their winter range and will also be an important factor in improving nutritional value of forage as well as access to additional preferred habitats. 

For more questions about this survey or the Whiskey Mountain Sheep Herd call Habitat Biologist Amy Anderson or Wildlife Biologist Greg Anderson at 307-332-2688. To read the management plan visit the Whiskey Mountain Bighorn Sheep Webpage. To read more about the research being done on this herd read this from the University of Wyoming.
 

- WGFD -


 
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