When thinking of iconic western mule deer valleys, a few come to mind. Often it is a high sage river valley flanked by rocky foothills and white peaks in the distance. In deer season the small towns in these valleys are abuzz with hunters from around the country. Hunters fill motels and restaurants. They pay access fees to local landowners and hire outfitters. The deer season is a consistently reliable part of the local economy – year in and year out. The pride of that economy is displayed on the walls of nearly every business.
Wyoming’s Upper North Platte Valley is an iconic western mule deer valley. Here, deer and elk camps are passed down through generations, and discussions about of wildlife populations fills the few human watering-holes along the North Platte River.
It takes a village to manage our wildlife, though. The local mule deer population is 25% below objective (as of 2020 reports). The community in the Platte Valley is rallying behind healthy and connected working landscapes to help this population today and for years to come. They also are taking a stand for a brighter future for mule deer populations through the Platte Valley Migration Corridor Designation.
The Wyoming Wildlife Federation wanted to take this moment to thank all of the volunteers and participants in the Platte Valley Mule Deer Migration Corridor Designation, including those currently in the process of creating management decisions via the Local Area Working Group. These deer are important to so many, they are a long term economic driver that should be celebrated as something truly special in Wyoming.
If you would like to get involved in conserving this special place and the wildlife who live there; the Platte Valley Working Group meets again remotely on January 22, 9:00-12:30 PM MST.
You can register for the Zoom meeting here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_zTVuLQr-T1OQYBvhv0hWTA
Find the draft meeting agenda here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1wy-AR1Ylyy25BNYm6gOYTtAGNud5H22P/view