Pronghorn corridor takes one step closer

Cali O'Hare file photo

SUBLETTE COUNTY – The long-awaited application from Wyoming Game and Fish to protect Sublette County’s ancient pronghorn antelope migration corridor is one step closer to becoming official.

Recently, Game and Fish Director Brian Nesvick hinted that there would be news forthcoming about this process, which requires hearing by the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission and the governor’s signature.

In the meantime, local hunters rallied to protect those relatively few pronghorn who survived last winter’s wildlife disease and starvation and traveled to Hoback Basin by honoring a request to not fill their hunting tags in the Bondurant area.

One hunting mother said her son always planned to shoot a pronghorn for his first official hunt but decided to go for an elk instead.

A harbinger of changing weather, 35 or so pronghorn of all ages gathered Sunday afternoon, Oct. 22, in the pasture where they traditionally come from throughout Hoback Basin before moving south before snowfall.

Not that long ago – perhaps last October – that group would have multiplied many times over preparing for fall migration.

Next step

On Tuesday, Oct. 24, Nesvik told the Roundup, “We have decided to move to the next step in the process of identifying the (pronghorn) corridor.  We are meeting with landowners and key stakeholders now in advance of a formal public release of the corridor threat assessment and applicable maps. We began this work over the weekend.”

This step is an important one to ensure private landowners are informed about “the important parts of the threat assessment straight from us and before they read about it in the media,” Nesvik said.

After stakeholders and landowners are completely informed, then Game and Fish will hold public meetings and seek feedback, he said.

“I anticipate that following public meetings and engagement and reviewing public comment, this will go to the Game and Fish Commission this winter,” Nesvik said.

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