Whiskey Mountain Bighorn Sheep: understanding and solutions through collaboration

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department in partnership with the Wyoming Wild Sheep Foundation, the National Bighorn Sheep Interpretive Center, and the University of Wyoming’s Ruckleshaus Institute is announcing a public engagement process to explore management concerns, issues, and opportunities for the Whiskey Mountain Bighorn Sheep herd.

A situation assessment was recently completed and dates for a series of public workshops and a “Bighorn Sheep Summit” have been set. All those interested in this herd are encouraged to attend and, at the Summit, meet with bighorn sheep specialists from around the country to chart a path forward for this iconic bighorn sheep herd.

This herd has struggled to recover from a catastrophic all-age die-off caused by pneumonia in 1991 causing an estimated 30% decline in the number of sheep.  The herd continues to stay below the desired population size primarily because lamb survival is very low likely due to the persistence of lamb pneumonia.  At one time, there were an estimated 2,500 sheep in this population; today there are about 750.

“The bottom-line is, we simply don't have all the answers how to turn this important bighorn sheep population around,” says Daryl Lutz, Lander’s wildlife management coordinator.  “There is much to be learned how to best address this decline and perhaps implement management strategies and projects to attempt to arrest and reverse this trend,” says Lutz.  “To do this, it is clear we must consider a different approach.”

Collaborative Process Opportunities

All meetings will be held at the Headwaters Arts and Conference Center, 20 Stalnaker Street, Dubois, WY from 6:00 -9:00 pm each evening.
Date  Purpose/ Content
February 11, 2019 Public workshop to summarize the situation assessment and exploration of issues. Click here for the Agenda.
March 14, 2019 Big Horn Sheep Summit - discussion with experts about technical and scientific information regarding disease, predation, habitat and other aspects of this bighorn sheep herd. Click here for the agenda.
April 3, 2019 Public workshop to craft solutions to improve herd conditions.Click here for the agenda.
June 5, 2019 Public workshop to present draft strategy for public input, discussion, and refinement. Agenda here. 


Additional meeting opportunity at the Wyoming Game and Fish Department Pinedale Regional Office,
432 E. Mill St., Pineldale, WY at 6:00 pm
February 19, 2019 Public meeting to provide an overview of current and past status of this herd and explore management concerns, issues, and opportunities.
Whiskey Mountain Bighorn Sheep Draft Plan

-Draft Plan Powerpoint Presentation

Panel of Scientists Recommendations

Issues Identified During Workshop 1 from the Small Groups

Whiskey Mountain Bighorn Sheep Herd Situation Assesment
Process Matrix
Workshop Flyer/Poster

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