The Big Dry Arm Spring Storm in the Great Basin Red Cliffs Desert Tortoise Reserve March Morning on the Platte River After a Spring Storm in the Great Basin Hunting Upland Birds at Kingsbury Lake Waterfowl Production Area Sandhill Migration on the Platte River Badlands Sunrise The Green River at Ouray NWR North Park Lupines Moab Sunset
PFW - Wyoming
Mountain-Prairie Region
Graphic button showing the 8 state mountain prairie region

Partners for Fish & Wildlife - Wyoming

 

Overview | Accomplishments | Wyoming PFW Strategic Plan | Contact Us | Open / Close All

  • Oregon slough, Wyoming. Credit: USFWS.

    Oregon slough, Wyoming. Credit: USFWS.

  • Sage-grouse, Bull Lake, Wyoming. Credit: USFWS.

    Sage-grouse, Bull Lake, Wyoming. Credit: USFWS.

  • Low density subdivision. Credit: USFWS.

    Low density subdivision. Credit: USFWS.

  • UG wetlands and sage. Credit: USFWS.

    UG wetlands and sage. Credit: USFWS.

  • Wetland restoration. Credit: USFWS.

    Wetland restoration. Credit: USFWS.

  • Wind River. Credit: USFWS.

    Wind River. Credit: USFWS.

  • Fish screen, Bull Lake Creek, Wyoming. Credit: USFWS.

    Fish screen, Bull Lake Creek, Wyoming. Credit: USFWS.

  • Wyoming LP wetlands, livestock. Credit: USFWS.

    Wyoming LP wetlands, livestock. Credit: USFWS.

Wyoming’s geography is as diverse as its wildlife. Over 600 wildlife species inhabit forest-covered mountain ranges, short grass prairies, sagebrush steppe, wetlands, rivers, and lakes.

Comprised of 23 counties, Wyoming encompasses approximately 62 million acres of which 48% is federally owned, 42% privately owned, 6% state owned, and 4% is Indian trust land. The highest proportion of public land is located in the rugged western mountains with private land holdings occupying the western river valleys and level terrain.

The Partners for Fish and Wildlife (PFW) program is a broad-based partnership of Wyoming landowners, local communities, conservation districts, sportsman groups, non-governmental organizations, federal and state agencies, and others, whose mission is to address landowner and landscape conservation needs.


Overview »

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Wyoming Activities | Priorities | Habitats | Conservation Strategies | Partners


Jackson Tetons. Credit: USFWS.

Jackson Tetons. Credit: USFWS.

Wyoming Activities

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  • Wetland restoration, creation, and enhancement
  • Grassland restoration and grazing management
  • Riparian restoration and management
  • River and stream restoration
  • Threatened and endangered species habitat restoration
  • Outreach and education

Upland acres enhanced are primarily grazing systems developed with individual landowners to manage the grassland for wildlife and livestock production. Incentives such as water developments, fencing, cattle guards, etc., are our chief tools of negotiation for developing specific wildlife and livestock use plans.

Wetlands, restored or enhanced, provide habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds and other waterbirds, while at the same time are providing alternative watering sources for cattle producers.

One of our main focuses for instream restoration is the removal of fish entrainment structures and barriers. In most cases, restoration results in a narrowing and deepening of the existing river channel using instream structures to provide stream stability. Riparian fencing goes hand in hand with stream restoration, as well as grazing systems.


Priorities

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The following criteria are used to select projects in the five priority Focus Areas:

  • Trust species abundance and diversity
  • Private / public ownership patterns
  • Habitat factors
  • Partnership opportunities
  • Threats
  • Tribal trust responsibilities

Wyoming toads benefit from playa lake restoration project.


Habitats

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Wetland restoration. Credit: USFWS.

Wetland restoration. Credit: USFWS.

Working closely with local ranchers along the front range of the Laramie Mountains, several miles of riparian habitat has been protected for the endangered Preble’s meadow jumping mouse.

Wyoming Partners has focused on wetland and upland restoration on the Buford Foundation property near Centennial, Wyoming. Historically, these wetlands were habitat to Wyoming toads (endangered) and boreal toads (candidate) and were the only locations containing both species. Wyoming Partners worked with The Nature Conservancy and Natural Resources Conservation Service to restore the wetlands and protect them with a long-term lease. Porter Lake was dry and Hardigan Lake was partially drained. Working cooperatively with the Buford Foundation, Wyoming Partners successfully restored both lakes to near former levels. The wetland sites on the properties were improved for potential toad reintroductions through releases from captive populations.


Conservation Strategies

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Threats | Conservation Strategies | Future Needs


Fish screen, Bull Lake Creek, Wyoming. Credit: USFWS.

Fish screen, Bull Lake Creek, Wyoming. Credit: USFWS.

Threats - « Back to section top

When settlement came to the arid West, water and raw materials were critical for progress and development. Large irrigation reservoirs and diversions were constructed on rivers and streams, and conveyance ditches were used to deliver water to newly cultivated fields. Forests were logged to supply construction lumber for growing communities, mineral industry, and rail companies. The once open grasslands and sage steppes were constrained by fences as the large herds of native migratory animals such as bison, elk, and pronghorn antelope were replaced with domestic livestock. The biological system that once evolved due to the dry climate, fires, and great herds of migratory wildlife was brought under control. These visible and quantitative landscape conversions are long-standing, yet more subtle and possibly damaging conversions continue to occur today. Native plants, wildlife, and fish are being replaced by uninvited exotic invaders, changing the composition, structure, and function of the ecosystem. Habitat fragmentation by unchecked expanding urbanization and mineral industry activities continues to be a major threat to fish and wildlife.


Conservation Strategies - « Back to section top

An important landscape feature of Wyoming is the 2 million acres of wetlands scattered across the state. In arid climates such as Wyoming, these critical areas are home for many resident and migratory wildlife species. In fact, over 75% of all wildlife species rely on these wetlands for a part, or all of their lifecycle.

In portions of the state, significant wetland complexes or concentrations exist and are targeted as focal areas for Partners work. These areas are located predominantly in the Laramie Plains, Goshen Hole, Wind River Indian Reservation, Great Basin, and New Fork Pothole Region of the Upper Green River Basin.

The state is divided into five major river drainages (Focus Areas), as generally defined by the boundaries of the Intermountain West Joint Venture:

  1. Snake/Salt River
  2. Green/Bear River
  3. Wind/Bighorn River
  4. Lower Missouri River
  5. Platte River

Most Partners projects in Wyoming involve a combination of restorations. The cost for riparian fencing is about $7,000 per mile. Grassland restoration and enhancement costs about $4.55 per acre. Wetland restoration costs about $1,200 per acre.


Wetland restoration along the Snake River photo. Credit: USFWS.

Wetland restoration along the Snake River photo. Credit: USFWS.

Snake/Salt River Drainage - « back to river drainage list
Typical projects in the Snake and Salt River Drainage include restoration of riparian habitats and associated oxbow wetlands.

Riparian restoration is accomplished through grazing management along the stream corridors. The timing and intensity of grazing is controlled by fencing the riparian zone to maximize woody and wet meadow plant communities. The incentive for landowners is the offsite water developments provided in the uplands to draw livestock out of the river bottoms and more efficently utiliize the adjacent grass uplands.

Oxbow wetland restorations take on many forms from simple ditch plugs or earthen dikes to impound water to diverting irrigation return flow water into relic wetlands.

The combination of oxbow wetland and riparian restoration not only benefit neotropical migrant birds in the area, but resident big game species such as elk, deer, and moose as well.


Photo showing 24 acres of wetlands restored and 167.8 acres of upland/riparian habitat managed. Credit: USFWS.

Photo showing 24 acres of wetlands restored and 167.8 acres of upland/riparian habitat managed. Credit: USFWS.

Green/Bear River Drainage - « back to river drainage list

Partners projects on the Green and Bear Rivers are designed to maintain and enhance waterfowl and fish habitat and improve irrigation efficiency.

Riparian associated oxbow wetland restoration projects along with riparian livestock fencing benefit many Trust Species including the Colorado cutthroat trout and whooping crane. Trumpeter swans benefit from Partners projects in and near the New Fork Pothole Region.


Photo of a wetland/riparian restoration in the Wind River Basin. Credit: USFWS.

Photo of a wetland/riparian restoration in the Wind River Basin. Credit: USFWS.

Wind/Bighorn River Drainage - « back to river drainage list

Within this drainage lies the 2 million acre Wind River Indian Reservation, bordered by the Wind River Mountain Range to the south and the Owl Creek Mountain Range to the north.

Wyoming Partners has worked with the Shoshone and Arapaho Tribes on numerous projects including wetland restoration and creation, riparian livestock fencing, grassland restoration and management, and stream restoration. The Reservation contains localized populations of Yellowstone cutthroat trout, a Species of Concern. Several Partners projects in the spring of 2001 involved installing fish passage structures to eliminate migration barriers.


17-acre oxbow restoration near Sheridan in the Powder River. Credit: USFWS.

17-acre oxbow restoration near Sheridan in the Powder River. Credit: USFWS.

Lower Missouri River Drainage - « back to river drainage list

Projects in the Lower Missouri River drainage include oxbow wetland restoration in the Sheridan, Ranchester, Ucross, Clearmont, and Buffalo areas.

Riparian livestock and wetland fencing projects improve wildlife habitat and water quality while soil erosion is decreased by managing, maintaining, and improving vegetative cover on the stream banks.

Grazing management plans complete the Partners package. For example, one Partners project involves two landowners along the Powder River who have incorporated 70,000+ continuous acres into their grazing management plan, protecting over 13 miles of Powder River riparian habitat.


Wetland restorations in Goshen Hole photo. Credit: USFWS.

Wetland restorations in Goshen Hole photo. Credit: USFWS.

Platte River Drainage - « back to river drainage list

The focal points for this drainage are Goshen Hole and the Laramie Plains wetland complexes. These areas contain some of the highest density of wetlands in the state and are considered major production areas for waterfowl and wetland-dependant wildlife. The combination of oxbow wetlands along the major river corridors and natural depressional wetlands in the surrounding countryside provide just the right ingredients.

Partner projects include wetland restoration and creation, grassland and riparian fencing, and stream restoration.


Future Needs - « Back to section top

  • Restore 15,000 acres of wetlands
  • Restore or enhance 5 million acres of upland habitat
  • Restore 1,000 miles of riparian habitat
  • Restore 1,000 miles of in-stream habitat


Partners

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Project partners. Credit: USFWS.

Project partners. Credit: USFWS.

  • Wyoming Landowners
  • Wyoming Game and Fish Department
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts
  • Ducks Unlimited
  • University of Wyoming Agricultural Cooperative Extension Service
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Pheasants Forever
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Bureau of Reclamation
  • City of Buffalo
  • Union Pacific Railroad
  • Wyoming Salvage
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • Farm Service Agency
  • National Audubon Society
  • National Wild Turkey Federation
  • Rooster Boosters
  • Wyoming Highway Department
  • Wyoming Land Trust
  • Texaco, Inc.
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
  • Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs
  • Arapaho and Shoshone Tribes
  • Wyoming Fly Casters Foundation
  • Boy Scouts of America


Accomplishments »

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Battle Creek Rest. Credit: USFWS.

Battle Creek Rest. Credit: USFWS.

FY 2016 Habitat Accomplishments

13,003 upland acres restored or enhanced
219 wetland acres restored or enhanced
19 miles of riparian habitat restored or enhanced
13 fish passage structures

FY 1987-2016 Cumulative Habitat Accomplishments

322,414 upland acres restored or enhanced
7,929 wetland acres restored or enhanced
361 miles of riparian habitat restored or enhanced
105 fish passage structures

The Wyoming Partners for Fish and Wildlife program has completed over 430 projects with private landowners throughout the state.


Wyoming PFW Strategic Plan »


Contact Us »

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State Coordinator

Mark Hogan
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Lander Fish and Wildlife Management Assistance Office
170 North First Street
Lander, Wyoming 82520
(307) 332-8719
mark_j_hogan@fws.gov

Private Lands Biologists

Dave Kimble
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
1565 Hwy 150 Suite A
Evanston, Wyoming 82931
(307) 783-3976
david_kimble@fws.gov

Mindy Meade
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
5015 Stone Road (CR 22)
Laramie, Wyoming 82070
(307) 745-4992 ext. 111
mindy_meade@fws.gov

 

 

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with Others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American People.
Last modified: February 10, 2017
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
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