Removing barriers along iconic Sublette Pronghorn migration corridor
Monday, November 13, 2023
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is moving forward with the Sublette Pronghorn migration corridor designation process.
Josh Metten, Wyoming field manager with the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, said the move is an important step to protect key spots along the iconic route between Rock Springs and Grand Teton National Park.
That includes places where animals get corralled and funneled into bottlenecks, and places herds recover from winter by hunkering down to feed on green-up vegetation.
"It's really important for the whole herd, but especially females that are getting ready to have their fawns," said Metten. "So making sure that there is appropriate management of development in these high priority areas, like stopovers and bottlenecks."
A recent threat evaluation released by Game and Fish found that the corridor is at "high risk" of being lost due to human activity.
In just the past three years, high priority areas saw developments - including a 3,500 well gas field, a state gas auction leasing 640 acres for $19 an acre within a known bottleneck, and more subdivisions - according to Wyofile.
Metten said he believes protecting the corridor is not an either-or proposition.
Thanks to advanced GPS collar data tracking herd movements, he said all stakeholders can sit down at the same table and find ways to accommodate multiple uses of adjacent lands - including energy production, housing development, and increased access to outdoor recreation.
"These are all things that we can still have on the landscape, if we do it right," said Metten. "Using a science-based approach to identify what are the most important areas to conserve, and we set appropriate limits in areas that are needed."
Public meetings are set for this Thursday in Pinedale, November 29 in Green River, and November 30 in Jackson. The agency will accept public comments through January 5.
Metten said enjoying wildlife like the Sublette Pronghorn herd is a big reason why hard-working families are proud to call Wyoming home.
"We're thankful to Gov. Gordon and the staff and Wyoming Game and Fish Department," said Metten, "for their commitment to ensuring that this irreplaceable wildlife resource is sustained into the future."
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