This beloved country is large and encompasses Thompson Pass, Horse Creek, McDougal Gap, North and South Cottonwood Creeks, Wyoming Peak, and Piney Creek. Wildlife in the Wyoming Range include genetically pure Colorado River cutthroat trout, Snake River cutthroat trout, black and grizzly bears, elk, half of the state’s moose population, and the northern end of the longest mule deer migration corridor in the world.
WHY IS THE WYOMING RANGE SO SPECIAL?
The high grassy alpine basins, steep avalanche chutes, and dark lush forests that make up the Wyoming Range create incredible summer range ungulate habitat. The mule deer hunting in this area is coveted by dedicated mule deer hunters from around the world, offering the “trophy experience” backcountry hunters dream of. In addition, some of the most famous mule deer of the west have come from the Wyoming Range and were photographed and filmed by hundreds of wildlife watchers. The Wyoming Range is a favorite of backpackers, overland motorcycle riders, snowmobilers, fishermen, and other recreationalists from around the world.
The Migration Corridor
Rather than a single path, the Wyoming Range mule deer migration corridor is a highly braided set of routes that deer use to pass between the Hoback Rim above Bondurant south to Kemmerer. The corridor crosses two mountain ranges, the Salt River Range and the Wyoming Range with the longest treks being over 130 miles long.
The Wyoming Range has multiple threats with fences impeding movement across the landscape, housing developments on winter ranges, roadways cutting off migration and taking out animals, and some oil and gas development impairing habitat. The Federation tells the story of all of these groups working together to conserve the migration corridor in the film Stakeholders.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department will follow the process created by the Governor’s Executive Order on Migration Corridors to address the needs of the corridor from a land management level.
Bridger-Teton National Forest Planning
The high country of the Wyoming Range is largely dominated by lands managed under the Bridger-Teton National Forest. The management plan for this national forest is due for revision in the near future, and the Wyoming Wildlife Federation team is working in the trenches to ensure the right balance of wildlife and recreation values are achieved in this revised plan. Check back for more information as the forest planning process develops.
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