Ensure big game have a seat at table in Bridger-Teton Forest Plan
If you’re a Wyoming sportsperson, you’re likely preparing for the upcoming fall hunting season. In a few months, many of us will be heading into the Wyoming Range, Wind Rivers, Gros Ventres and other storied regions of the Bridger-Teton National Forest (BTNF) to enjoy time afield with hopes of harvesting wild game.
Unfortunately, opportunities to harvest mule deer and pronghorn in many of these same areas will be diminished due to the devastating winter of 2022-2023.
Wyoming’s deer and pronghorn populations will rebound if we prioritize the habitat and migration corridors these animals need to thrive. Research from the University of Wyoming’s Monteith Shop shows that mule deer with quality summer range pack on more fat reserves and are far more likely to survive harsh winters. For western Wyoming’s deer herds, much of that summer range lies in the BTNF. So how can we, as sportsmen and sportswomen, help?
The BTNF is currently in the early stages of its forest plan revision, and the stakes are high for big game. The updates made to the forest plan revisions will shape how we use the 3.4 million acres within the boundary, and how those uses will enhance wildlife habitat for decades to come. Our national forest is loved by many diverse stakeholders, all of whom have a vision for how they would like to see the forest managed for present and future generations.
Let’s make sure that our wildlife and our sporting traditions have a seat at the table.
Learn more about the upcoming Bridger-Teton National Forest Plan Revision here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/btnf/landmanagement/planning/?cid=FSEPRD1093592.
Alex Aguirre, Wyoming Community Partnerships coordinator, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership