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Agency Reports

  • 2004 Reasonable Foreseeable Development Scenario for Oil and Gas

    The Rawlins Field Office area lies within south-central and southeast Wyoming (Figure 1). The main goals of our analysis of a Reasonable Foreseeable Development scenario were to technically analyze the oil and gas resource occurring within the Field Office area and to project future development potential and activity levels for the period 2001 through 2020. It is a base line scenario and thus it assumes that future activity levels will not be constrained by management-imposed conditions (Rocky Mountain Federal Leadership Forum, 2002). We have recognized current legislatively imposed restrictions that could affect future activity levels and constrained this base line scenario where those types of restrictions have been applied to lands [...] (Read More)

  • 2005 Green River Watershed Native Non-Game Fish Species Research: Phase II

    Conservation efforts to protect and restore native fish species of the Colorado River basin are underway (Utah Division of Wildlife Resource 2004a and 2004b). Flannelmouth sucker (Catostomus latipinnus), bluehead sucker (Catostomus discobolus), and roundtail chub (Gila robusta), hereafter target species, are three species native to the Colorado River basin that have been targeted by these efforts. Weitzel (2002) reports that these three species were historically abundant in the Green River watershed of southwestern Wyoming. However, populations have declined in Wyoming (Weitzel 2002) and in other areas throughout the Colorado River drainage (Bezzerides and Bestgen 2002). The Wyoming Natural Diversity Database assigns bluehead [...] (Read More)

  • 2006 Green River Watershed Native Non-Game Fish Species Research: Phase II

    Flannelmouth sucker (Catostomus latipinnis), bluehead sucker (Catostomus discobolus), and roundtail chub (Gila robusta), hereafter target species, are native to the Colorado River basin and have undergone declines in both abundance and distribution throughout their ranges. Due to these declines, state and federal agencies have entered into a range-wide conservation agreement and strategy to ensure the persistence of these species in their native ranges (Utah Division of Wildlife Resources 2006) Weitzel (2002) reports that these three species were historically abundant in the Green River watershed of southwestern Wyoming. However, populations have declined in Wyoming (Weitzel 2002) and throughout the Colorado River drainage [...] (Read More)

  • 2006 Reasonable Foreseeable Development Scenario for Oil and Gas Activities on Federal Lands in the Pinedale Field Office, Wyoming

    The Bureau of Land Management (Bureau) manages public lands in the Pinedale Field Office (Field Office) planning area, which lies within west-central Wyoming (Figure 1). Lands in Teton County are not included in these reasonable foreseeable development scenarios. The main goal of our evaluation is to technically analyze the oil and gas resource occurring within the Field Office area and to project future development potential and activity levels for the period 2001 through 2020. This analysis makes a base line projection that assumes future activity levels will not be constrained by management-imposed conditions (Rocky Mountain Federal Leadership Forum, 2002). Where legislatively imposed restrictions are applied to lands within the [...] (Read More)

  • 2006 Reasonable Foreseeable Development Scenario for Oil and Gas: Prepared for Bureau of Land Management, Kemmerer Field Office, Wyoming

    This Kemmerer planning area Reasonable Foreseeable Development (RFD) Scenario is part of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Resource Management Plan (RMP) revision process. The purpose of the document is to provide land management planners with estimates of potential oil and gas occurrences and projections of oil and gas exploration and production activity within the planning area for the period 2001 through 2020. The information will be incorporated into the RMP and its associated Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Located in the southwestern corner of Wyoming, the Kemmerer planning area includes most of Uinta and Lincoln counties, the western portion of Sweetwater County, and a small area of Sublette County. Within the planning [...] (Read More)

  • 2007 Update to Reasonable Foreseeable Development Scenario for Oil and Gas Activities on Federal Lands in the Rock Springs Field Office, Wyoming

    The Bureau of Land Management determined a need to update the oil and gas Reasonable Foreseeable Development Scenario for the Rock Springs Field Office, Wyoming. We have gathered resource information on the potential magnitude and trend of future oil and gas activity so that staff of the Field Office can analyze associated management activities, future decisions, and environmental impact. The Field Office will use this information to update the cumulative analysis previously prepared for the EIS for the Green River Resource Management Plan for the next five years (2007-2011). (Read More)

  • Addendum to Monitoring Wyoming's Birds, 2002-2004 Final Report

    In 2002, Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory (RMBO), in cooperation with Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, and the Wyoming Partners In Flight group, implemented a long-term, habitat-based bird monitoring program designed to provide rigorous population trend data on most diurnal, regularly occurring breeding bird species in Wyoming (Leukering et al. 2001). Modeled after Monitoring Colorado’s Birds (Leukering et al. 2000), this program is entitled Monitoring Wyoming’s Birds (MWB). Monitoring Wyoming’s Birds is consistent with goals emphasized in the Partners In Flight National Landbird Monitoring Strategy (Bart et al. 2001) and, in addition to monitoring bird populations, generates [...] (Read More)

  • Amphibian Surveys in the Upper Green River Watershed of Wyoming, May to September 2002

    Amphibian surveys were performed on National Forest land in the upper Green River watershed of Wyoming in the summer of 2002. These surveys were conducted to gather baseline data on amphibian distribution, relative abundance and habitat requirements. Initial efforts were concentrated in river drainages, which were being considered for treatment with piscicides as part of a management plan for native Colorado River cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki pleuriticus). Boreal Toad (Bufo boreas boreas) specimens were collected for genetic and chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) analyses. Three river drainages were surveyed: LaBarge Creek, Gypsum Creek, and Cottonwood Creek (North and South Cottonwood Creek). Four species of amphibian [...] (Read More)

  • An evaluation of the 1988 BLM Pinedale Resource Management Plan, 2000 BLM Pinedale Anticline Final EIS and Recommendations for the current revision of the Pinedale Resource Management Plan

    The Upper Green River Basin (UGRB) generally refers to the area north of Interstate 80, west of the Wind River Range, east of the Wyoming Range, and south of the Gros Ventre Range. The UGRB encompasses approximately 8,000 mi2; nearly 8% of the surface area in Wyoming. Historically, this sagebrush-dominated basin was occupied by a variety of ungulate species, including mule deer, elk, moose, bighorn sheep, pronghorn, and bison. Aside from providing large amounts of year-around habitat for wildlife, the mid-elevation (<7,600 ft.) basin serves as a natural corridor and winter range for migratory animals that occupy the surrounding mountain ranges. Today the UGRB continues to support the largest, most diverse ungulate populations in the [...] (Read More)

  • Annear Modification of the Stream Class System, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Fish Division, Administrative Report

    The Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) first developed a stream classification system in 1961. The inaugural system was intended to identify and rank the most important coldwater recreational fisheries to the State. Over time the system was also used to assess the relative potential impacts of proposed development projects to streams. The system also was adapted as one component in a land use management program to assess the relative value of properties being considered for acquisition by WGFD. The stream ranking protocol was periodically modified over the years. In its present form, streams are ranked using a combination of scores for productivity, accessibility and esthetics. In recent years, fisheries managers have noted several [...] (Read More)

  • Fragmenting Our Lands: The Ecological Footprint from Oil and Gas Development

    Fragmentation of habitat is widely acknowledged as detrimental to wildlife and plant species. Landscape analysis is a proven method to identify fragmentation and other agents of change in a given area. Yet landscape analysis is seldom completed prior to initiation of oil and gas projects, despite considerable evidence that oil and gas extraction and transmittal are likely to cause wide-ranging disturbances in the landscape. We conducted a pilot analysis of the landscape of the existing Big Piney-LaBarge oil and gas field in the Upper Green River Basin of Wyoming, a region where more than 3,000 oil and gas wells have been drilled. We measured the degree of habitat fragmentation of the field using three metrics: linear feature density [...] (Read More)

  • Green River Watershed Native Non-Game Fish Species Research: Phase II

    Currently, little is known about the native fish assemblages present in the Green River drainage of southwestern Wyoming. Of particular interest are the bluehead sucker (BHS), flannelmouth sucker (FMS), and the roundtail chub (RTC). Bluehead sucker, FMS, and RTC have declined in Wyoming and throughout their native ranges. The Natural Heritage Program assigns BHS the global ranking of G4 suggesting its existence to be abundant and globally secure, although it may be quite rare in parts of its range and is thus the element of long-term concern (Fertig and Beauvais 1999). The Natural Heritage Program assigns FMS the global ranking of G3/G4 suggesting its existence to be uncertain. It is uncommon but seems to be locally secure. [...] (Read More)

  • Habitat Quality Index Procedures Manual

    The Habitat Quality Index (HQI) Procedures Manual is a step-by-step guide to the HQI method, which is used to evaluate trout habitat in Rocky Mountain streams. Purpose of the manual is to provide guidance and standards for conducting HQI evaluations. Subjects discussed included preliminary planning, station selection and layout, equipment, data sources, habitat measurements and HQI calculations. The manual promotes familiarity with the HQI by explaining how and what to measure, as well as proper techniuqes and any useful shortcuts. Text instruction are augmented by photos and line drawings. Several examples and case studies illustrate HQI evaluation procedures. (Read More)

  • Identifying Mule Deer Migration Routes Along the Pinedale Front

    There are an estimated 28,000 mule deer in the upper Green River Basin (i.e., Sublette Herd, Wyoming Game and Fish Department [WGFD] 2006), most of which annually migrate 40 to 100 miles to summer in portions of 5 mountain ranges (Sawyer et al. 2005). Accordingly, successful management of this deer herd will require that functional migration routes remain intact. Given the increased levels of both energy (Bureau of Land Management [BLM] 2005) and housing (Taylor and Lieske 2002) development in Sublette County, identifying and conserving migration routes has become increasingly important. Currently, migration routes are depicted by simply connecting the dots between locations of marked animals (e.g., Sawyer et al. 2005, Berger et [...] (Read More)

  • Identifying Mule Deer Migration Routes in the Atlantic Rim Project Area

    Given that 95% of the mule deer that winter in the Atlantic Rim Project Area (ARPA) are migratory (Sawyer 2007), sustaining current mule deer populations will require functional migration routes remain intact. Prior to 2000, conserving migration routes had not been a top management concern for agencies because there had been no large‐scale habitat alterations in the ARPA or Baggs Herd Unit, (e.g., Bureau of Land Management [BLM] 2000a, BLM 2000b) and the landscape had remained relatively unchanged. However, the recent approval to develop 2,000 gas wells at a spacing of 8 per section and improve or construct approximately 1,000 miles of road and pipeline (BLM 2006) will result in large‐scale habitat changes that could potentially [...] (Read More)

  • Modification of The Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s System For Classifying Stream Fisheries

    The Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) first developed a stream classification system in 1961. The inaugural system was intended to identify and rank the most important coldwater recreational fisheries to the State. Over time the system was also used to assess the relative potential impacts of proposed development projects to streams. The system also was adapted as one component in a land use management program to assess the relative value of properties being considered for acquisition by WGFD. The stream ranking protocol was periodically modified over the years. In its present form, streams are ranked using a combination of scores for productivity, accessibility and esthetics. In recent years, fisheries managers have noted [...] (Read More)

  • Monitoring Wyoming's Birds, 2002-2004 Final Report

    In 2002, Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory (RMBO), in cooperation with Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, and the Wyoming Partners In Flight group, implemented a long-term, habitat-based bird monitoring program designed to provide rigorous population trend data on most diurnal, regularly occurring breeding bird species in Wyoming (Leukering et al. 2001). Modeled after Monitoring Colorado’s Birds (Leukering et al. 2000), this program is entitled Monitoring Wyoming’s Birds (MWB). Monitoring Wyoming’s Birds is consistent with goals emphasized in the Partners In Flight National Landbird Monitoring Strategy (Bart et al. 2001) and, in addition to monitoring bird populations, generates a wealth [...] (Read More)

  • Species Assessment for Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus Leucocephalus) in Wyoming

    The bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is the second largest North American bird of prey, with an average wingspan of 7 feet. On 20 June 1782 it was chosen as the emblem of the United States of America because of its long life, great strength, and majestic appearance. This selection had its detractors, most notably Benjamin Franklin who expounded on the bald eagle’s “bad moral character.” The bald eagle's scientific name signifies a sea (halo) eagle (aeetos) with a white (leukos) head (cephalus). In adult birds, the distinctive white head and white tail contrast starkly with the dark brown body and wings. When Europeans first arrived on the North American continent there were an estimated one- quarter to one-half million bald eagles. [...] (Read More)

  • Species Assessment For Boreal Toad(Bufo Boreas Boreas) In Wyoming

    Boreal toads (Bufo boreas boreas) were once considered widely distributed and common amphibians in the western United States. The boreal toad shows signs of significant declines in population size and distribution across its range in western North America, and especially in the southern Rocky Mountains (Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico) (Corn et al 1989, Carey 1993, Corn 1994, Keinath and Bennet 2000, BTRT 2001). The Southern Rocky Mountain Population of boreal toads was petitioned for federal listing with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1995 and was classified as warranted but precluded (USDI Fish and Wildlife Service 1995). The boreal toad has been listed as endangered by the state of New Mexico since 1976 (New [...] (Read More)

  • Species Assessment for Brewer's Sparrow (Spizella Breweri) in Wyoming

    The Brewer’s Sparrow (Spizella breweri) has significantly declined throughout its breeding range in the last 25 years (Ashley and Stoval 2004). Despite being thought of by many as the most common bird in spring and summer in shrubsteppe habitat, the Brewer’s Sparrow has been given special conservation status in several western states, including Wyoming (Knick and Rotenberry 2000). Habitat fragmentation and other processes threaten Brewer’s Sparrow populations in several ways. In this report, shrubsteppe is defined as habitat with a “…codominance of sagebrush [Artemesia spp.] and native bunch grass and moderate shrub cover” (B. Walker, personal communication). This report reviews key published literature, identifies experts [...] (Read More)

  • Species Assessment For Canada Lynx (Lynx Canadensis) In Wyoming

    The Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) reaches its southern range limit in the mountains of Colorado and southern Wyoming. In the continuous boreal forests of Canada and Alaska lynx populations are widespread and stable (Quinn and Parker 1987). Boreal forests attenuate in the Central and Southern Rocky Mountains, where they occur only on discrete mountain ranges separated by dry shrub- and grass-dominated basins. Populations of boreo-alpine vertebrates like lynx are similarly fragmented in this region (Beauvais 2000). There is concern that populations of lynx in the contiguous United States are vulnerable to habitat limitations and lack of regulatory mechanisms to protect them. Consequently the USDI Fish and Wildlife Service [...] (Read More)

  • Species assessment for Columbia spotted frog (Rana luteiventris) in Wyoming

    Four populations of Columbia spotted frog (Rana luteiventris) are currently recognized, including three disjunct, southern populations and a main population extending from northwest Wyoming through western Canada. The main (or northern) population includes Wyoming. It has no federal status as endangered or threatened and is generally considered to be secure, although some local declines have been documented. Most occupied habitat for the Columbia spotted frog occurs on lands managed by the National Forest Service (Regions 2 and 4) and the National Park Service (Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks ). The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) may have potential habitat in the Green River Basin and higher elevation parcels [...] (Read More)

  • Species Assessment for Dwarf Shrew (Sorex Nanus) in Wyoming

    The dwarf shrew (Sorex nanus) is one of the smallest mammals in the world, and inhabits a variety of habitats in western North America. Very little is known about this shrew, and relatively few specimens have been collected. Like most members of Soricidae, the dwarf shrew has a long and pointed nose, small eyes and ears, and a small body. It is difficult to distinguish from other shrews and generally has to be identified by dental characteristics. The dwarf shrew occurs primarily in mountainous areas, apparently preferring rock outcrops and talus slopes in alpine, subalpine, and montane settings. However, it has been occasionally found in lower and more arid environments such as shortgrass prairie, shrub-steppe, and stubble [...] (Read More)

  • Species Assessment for Great Basin Spadefoot Toad (Spea Intermontana) in Wyoming

    The Great Basin spadefoot toad (Spea intermontana) is currently recognized by the Canadian government as a threatened species. In addition, some state agencies throughout its range recognize S. intermontana as a sensitive species, often because too little is known about it to provide evaluations on population status and viability throughout its range. In the last couple of decades, amphibians around the world have experienced population decline, range reduction, and even extinction. This observed trend has been attributed to habitat degradation and loss, chemical pollution, acid precipitation, increased ultraviolet radiation, introduced species, and pathogens, which all combine with the natural fluctuation of amphibian [...] (Read More)

  • Species Assessment For Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius Ludovicianus) In Wyoming

    The loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus ) is widespread in North America, where it generally occurs in open habitats with abundant insect prey and perches for hunting. Examples of suitable habitat are grasslands, sagebrush, and a variety of shrub-steppe habitats. However, it has demonstrated a substantial contraction in distribution and declines in abundance throughout North America. The reasons for these declines are not fully known, although reduction in quality and quantity of native grassland and shrub-steppe communities is a major contributing factor, particularly on wintering grounds in the southern United States and Mexico. Other threats include livestock grazing (decreased prey availability and altered habitat [...] (Read More)

  • Species Assessment for Long-Billed Curlew (Numenius Americanus) in Wyoming

    The Long-billed Curlew (Numenius americanus) is the largest bird in the sandpiper family (Scolopacidae), and one of only nine species of grassland birds that is considered endemic to the Great Plains (Dugger and Dugger 2002). This curlew species has the southernmost breeding distribution and northernmost wintering distribution of the four curlew species found in North America (Dugger and Dugger 2002). It breeds in the Great Plains, Great Basin, and intermontane valleys of the western U.S. and southwestern Canada (Dugger and Dugger 2002). The Longbilled Curlew is cinnamon-brown above, and buff below, with a very long, strongly downcurved bill (Field Guide to the Birds of North America 1999). Cinnamon-buff wing linings, which are [...] (Read More)

  • Species Assessment For Mountain Plover (Charadrius Montanus) In Wyoming

    The Mountain Plover (Charadrius montanus) is and endemic shorebird species which breeds in grassland and shrubsteppe habitats of the western Great Plains and Colorado Plateau. Occurrences of this species in Wyoming are constrained to breeding and migration seasons. First described in 1837 by J. K. Townsend, from the tablelands of the Rocky Mountains in the region of the Sweetwater River, Wyoming (AOU 1983), this species is locally common and has been detected in every county of Wyoming. The Mountain Plover was proposed for listing as threatened under the Endangered Species Act by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1999. The proposal for listing was withdrawn in 2003, as perceived threats to the species and available habitat [...] (Read More)

  • Species Assessment For Northern Goshawk (Accipiter Gentilis) In Wyoming

    The Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis, Linnaeus 1758) is a diurnal raptor (Family Accipitridae) of temperate forests and woodlands. The genus Accipiter is representative of closely related hawks noted for long tails and relatively broad wings, well suited for pursuit of prey in dense forests. Once commonly known as “bird hawks”, (Craighead and Craighead 1956) the genus is well known for aerial pursuit of avian prey, however, the diet of accipiters is very diverse. Reliant upon explosive acceleration and adept maneuverability, the Northern Goshawk is a predator of birds and small mammals throughout its range. The species has proven to be highly influenced by cyclical abundances of prey species in any season. The species [...] (Read More)

  • Species Assessment For Pygmy Rabbit (Brachylagus Idahoensis) In Wyoming

    The pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis) is the smallest of any North American rabbit species. It was first described as Lepus idahoensis in 1891 by Meriam (Meriam 1891). It is endemic to sagebrush habitats in the Great Basin and adjacent intermountain areas and typically occupies tall and dense sagebrush patches. Pygmy rabbits are dietary specialists on big sagebrush. They are considered a keystone species in big sagebrush communities because they don’t thrive in habitats dominated by other shrub species, they exhibit a unique fossorial behavior, other species of vertebrates and invertebrates use their extensive burrow system, and they provide a reliable food supply for terrestrial and avian predators (Wilson and Ruff [...] (Read More)

  • Species Assessment for Sage Sparrow (Amphispiza Belli) in Wyoming

    The Sage Sparrow (Amphispiza belli) is a common breeding bird in landscapes dominated by big sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) in western North America. The species prefers large, undisturbed tracts of tall and dense sagebrush. Such habitat is declining across large areas, and many sagebrush obligates such as the Sage Sparrow are showing corresponding declines in distribution and abundance. For example, in Washington over half the native shrubsteppe has been converted to agriculture in the last 150 years (Vander Haegen et al. 2000). In this report, shrubsteppe is defined as an environment with a “…co-dominance of sagebrush and native bunch grass and moderate shrub cover” (B. Walker, personal communication). Shrubsteppe habitat [...] (Read More)

  • Species Assessment for Sage Thrasher (Oreoscoptes Montanus) in Wyoming

    The sage thrasher (Oreoscoptes montanus), a sagebrush-steppe obligate that relies on large expanses of sagebrush-steppe for successful breeding, is recognized by Canada and several U.S. state agencies as a sensitive species that is apparently at risk based on loss or alteration of breeding habitat and decreasing population trends. In this context, habitat alteration refers to modification of any component of the required habitat mosaic, (e.g., presence and quality of tall big sagebrush (Artemesia spp.), adequate cover, and increased vertical and horizontal heterogeneity) that might directly decrease suitability for nesting habitat. Primary threats to O. montanus habitat are agricultural field cultivation, domestic grazing, [...] (Read More)

  • Species Assessment For Spotted Bat(Euderma Maculatum) In Wyoming

    This Species Conservation Assessment was prepared as part of a Species Conservation Project funded by the Wyoming Bureau of Land Management. It represents a complete review of the current published information available for the species, includes consultation with experts, and addresses as much as is known concerning the distribution, biology, ecological niche, and conservation planning being conducted for this species on a state and range-wide level. The reader will note a number of areas in which biological and ecological data are not well known for this species, and that distribution data are based on relatively few specimen and observation records. Systematic surveys of suitable habitat for Euderma maculatum have not been [...] (Read More)

  • Species Assessment for the Midget Faded Rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis concolor) in Wyoming

    The midget faded rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis concolor) has long been considered a subspecies of the western rattlesnake (C. viridis). This document will follow this convention, although there is some discussion of taxonomic revision at the species level that would categorize the midget faded rattlesnake as C. oreganos concolor (Crother et al. 2003). Midget faded rattlesnakes are a pale brownish gray, cream, or straw color. Blotches on the body are faded, subrectangular or sub-elliptical. As with most rattlesnakes, the most distinguishing feature is the rattle. Midget faded rattlesnakes are pit vipers, with the typical heat-sensing pits on each side of the head, between the eyes and mouth, used for detecting prey. The midget faded [...] (Read More)

  • Species Assessment For The Northern Leopard Frog (Rana Pipiens) In Wyoming

    The northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens) is a formerly abundant frog that has experienced significant declines across its range and is considered endangered in some parts of the range but still abundant in other parts of the range. Various factors have been invoked to explain population declines in the northern leopard frog, including habitat destruction, diseases, chemical contamination, acidification, increased ultraviolet light due to loss of the ozone layer, introduced predators, overcollecting, climatic changes, and general environmental degradation. However, no one cause has emerged as the primary factor behind population declines in any area. Probably, multiple causes contribute to population declines of the species, [...] (Read More)

  • Species Assessment for the Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator) in Wyoming

    Weighing 10 - 15 kg and with a wingspan of 2.4m when fully grown, the trumpeter swan (Cygnus buccinator) is the world's largest waterfowl. Trumpeter swans are similar in appearance to other white swans, but their foreheads slope evenly to an all black bill. The more common and smaller tundra, or whistling, swan (C. columbianus) is smaller with a more curved upper bill, and usually has a yellow spot in front of its eye. The trumpeter swan is a long-lived, social species, conspicuous by its large size, all-white plumage, and trumpet-like call. Although once abundant and widespread in North America, populations were greatly reduced during the European settlement era when the species was prized for its skin and feathers. Historic annual [...] (Read More)

  • Species Assessment For Townsend’s Big-Eared Bat (Corynorhinus [=Plecotus] Townsendii) In Wyoming

    The western subspecies of Corynorhinus, C. townsendii pallescens and C. t. townsendii are not currently federally listed or candidate species throughout their range. Two eastern subspecies, C. townsendii ingens and C. townsendii virginianus, are currently listed as Endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Both Regions 2 and 4 of the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management in Wyoming and Colorado list the full species as sensitive within their jurisdictions. The Bureau of Land Management in South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas apparently does not provide any special protection for the bats. The Wyoming Natural Diversity Database lists it as being of particular conservation concern as indicated by its S1 ranking. [...] (Read More)

  • Species Assessment For Western Burrowing Owl (Athene Cunicularia Hypugaea) In Wyoming

    The Western Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea), hereafter Burrowing Owl, is a diurnal bird of prey specialized for grassland and shrub-steppe habitats in western North America. The Latin species name for the Burrowing Owl, “cunicularia”, means “little miner”, referring to their unique behavior among North American raptors of nesting underground (Green 1988). Burrowing Owls will establish nests in earthen burrows, rock piles, eroded stream banks, and man-made structures such as roadside culverts and eroded irrigation ditches. Zuni Indians referred to the Burrowing Owl as the “priest of the prairie dogs”, presiding on top of burrows within prairie dog colonies (Cynomys spp.) in the Great Plains (Haug et al. 1993). [...] (Read More)

  • Species Assessment for Western Long-Eared Myotis (Myotis Evotis) in Wyoming

    Myotis evotis (long-eared myotis), a former Category 2 Candidate, is currently recognized by several federal and state agencies as a sensitive species, in part because very little information exists to provide evaluations on population status and viability locally or rangewide. Primary threats to M. evotis are roost disturbance (especially that leading to loss or destruction of roosting structures), habitat alteration, and toxic chemicals. Roost disturbance (especially of maternity roosts and hibernacula) can take the form of direct human contact or alternation of the roost environment. Habitat alteration refers to modification of any component of the required habitat mosaic, (e.g., presence and quality of open water, roost [...] (Read More)

  • Species Assessment for White-Faced Ibis (Plegadis Chihi) in Wyoming

    Plegadis chihi, the White-faced Ibis, is a member of the Ciconiiformes order. They are large, long-legged birds, and they fly with a strong and steady wingbeat (Trost 1989). They are members of the Threskiornithidae family and as such are wading birds. They are gregarious, heronlike birds with long legs and long specialized bills to facilitate feeding in shallow waters (Field Guide to the Birds of North America 1999). They often fly in flocks of 10-50 birds, either in a “V” formation or in long lines, and their only vocalization is a double grunt that sounds like “greh-greh” (Trost 1989). The White-faced Ibis is an attractive wading bird that is locally common in the western United States, where it breeds. The White-faced [...] (Read More)

  • Species Assessment For White-Tailed Prairie Dog (Cynomys Leucurus) In Wyoming

    White tailed prairie dog range presently occurs 4 western states; Wyoming (71%), Colorado (16%), Utah (12%) and Montana (1%). This species is typically found in shrub-steppe and grassland environments in cool intermountain basins. White tails are one of five species of Cynomys, they have many characteristics that make them unique. Historically, white tails have been much maligned by white settlers in the west. Aggressive, government sponsored poisoning campaigns coupled with unregulated shooting and, most recently, the introduction of an exotic disesase (Plague, Yersinia pestis) have worked in unison to reduce population sizes from what they once presumably were. Currently, white-tailed prairie dogs still occur across most [...] (Read More)

  • Species Assessment for Wyoming Pocket Gopher (Thomomys Clusius) in Wyoming

    Pocket gophers are small, vole-like members of the family Geomyidae. They inhabit much of the western half of the United States, a large area of southwestern Canada, and much of Mexico (Bailey 1915). They are powerfully built mammals that are strongly adapted to fossorial living, with small ears, small eyes, fur-lined cheek pouches used to carry food, and very strong front limbs with long nails used for digging. There are several species of pocket gophers in Wyoming and the surrounding states. All look very similar, making it difficult to distinguish specimens to species. Reliable identification has to involve chromosomal analysis (i.e., karyotyping to count chromosome number), with supporting information from geographic location, [...] (Read More)

  • Strategic Habitat Plan Annual Report - 2002

    Habitat issues may be the single greatest challenge facing the Wyoming Game and Fish Department in the 21st century. Many habitat types are imperiled or at-risk. Potential impacts to fish and wildlife habitats are expanding, with the two most noticeable being energy development and urban sprawl. The current drought has caused short-term impacts as well. At the same time, we are being asked to take a far more active role in the conservation of wildlife species, including many of which are considered to be at-risk. Conserving these species one species at a time is impractical. To effectively answer this challenge, there is a great need for the Department to be collaboratively involved in habitat-related decisions at a landscape level [...] (Read More)

  • Strategic Habitat Plan Annual Report - 2003

    One of the single greatest challenges facing the Wyoming Game and Fish Department in the 21st century will be our ability to maintain sustainable fish and wildlife populations. This challenge can be met by addressing habitat needs and issues that seek to maintain open spaces, quality habitats and the ability of fish and wildlife to utilize these areas. Many habitat types are imperiled or at-risk. Potential impacts to fish and wildlife habitats are expanding, with some of the most noticeable being energy development, other land uses, and urban sprawl. The long-term drought has caused impacts as well. At the same time, we are being asked to take a far more active role in the conservation of all wildlife species, including many considered [...] (Read More)

  • Strategic Habitat Plan Annual Report - 2004

    One of the single greatest challenges facing the Wyoming Game and Fish Department in the 21st century will be our ability to maintain sustainable fish and wildlife populations. This challenge can be met by addressing habitat needs and issues that seek to maintain open spaces, quality habitats and the ability of fish and wildlife to utilize these areas. Many habitat types are imperiled or at-risk. Potential impacts to fish and wildlife habi- tats are expanding, with some of the most noticeable being energy development, increasing demands for water, other land uses, and urban sprawl. The long-term drought has caused impacts as well. At the same time, we are being asked to take a far more active role in the conservation of all wildlife [...] (Read More)

  • Strategic Habitat Plan Annual Report - 2006

    One of the greatest challenges facing the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) in the 21st century will be our ability to maintain sustainable fish and wildlife populations and meet the expectations and desire of our citizens. This challenge can be met by addressing habitat needs and issues that seek to maintain open spaces, non-fragmented quality habitats and the ability of fish and wildlife to utilize these areas. Many areas of the state are imperiled or at-risk. Potential impacts to fish and wildlife are expanding, with some of the most noticeable being energy development, increasing demands for water, other land uses, and urban sprawl. The long-term drought, fire suppression and conflicts in public expectations have caused impacts [...] (Read More)

  • Strategic Habitat Plan Annual Report - 2007

    One of the greatest challenges facing the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) in the 21st century will be our ability to maintain sustainable fish and wildlife populations and meet the expectations and desire of our citizens. We approach habitat conservation and management on a landscape/watershed scale based on the needs of all fish and wildlife and citizens who either enjoy and/or depend on wildlife, and the land and water resources of the State. This requires a great deal of teamwork and a broader view of our responsibilities. Addressing habitat needs and issues that seek to maintain open spaces, non-fragmented, quality habitats and the ability of fish and wildlife to utilize these areas provides an opportunity to meet many [...] (Read More)

  • Strategic Habitat Plan Annual Report - 2008

    One of the great challenges facing the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) in the 21st century will be our ability to maintain sustainable fish and wildlife populations and meet the expectations and desire of our citizens. Potential impacts to fish and wildlife continue to expand, with some of the more noticeable being energy development, increasing demands for water, other land uses, and urban sprawl. The long-term drought, fi re suppression and differences in public expectations and uses of natural resources have caused habitat impacts as well. We must conserve and enhance habitats for all species, while, at the same time conserving habitats essential for species identified at risk in the State Wildlife Action Plan. To answer [...] (Read More)

  • Strategic Habitat Plan Annual Report - 2009

    Maintaining sustainable fish and wildlife populations in the face of complex and competing demands is one of the fundamental challenges facing the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission (WGFC) and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD). Biologists, conservationists, land managers and private landowners have long recognized that habitat is the key to answering the challenge. However, except for ownership and management of WGFC-held lands, the WGFC has no statutory authority for protecting, restoring or enhancing wildlife habitat. Since the management of wildlife is inseparable from the habitat that sustains it, we recognize that we must work in concert with private landowners and public land managers, conservation organizations, local, [...] (Read More)

  • Strategic Habitat Plan Annual Report - 2010

    Maintaining sustainable fish and wildlife populations in the face of complex and competing demands is one of the fundamental challenges facing the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission (WGFC) and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD). Biologists, conservationists, land managers and private landowners have long recognized that habitat is one of the keys to answering the challenge. However, except for ownership and management of WGFC-held lands, the WGFC has no statutory authority for protecting, restoring or enhancing wildlife habitat. Since the management of wildlife is inseparable from the habitat that sustains it, we must work in concert with private landowners and public land managers, conservation organizations, elected officials, [...] (Read More)

  • Strategic Habitat Plan Annual Report - 2011

    Maintaining sustainable fish and wildlife populations in the face of complex and competing demands is one of the fundamental challenges facing the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission (WGFC) and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD). Biologists, conservationists, land managers and private landowners have long recognized that habitat is key to answering the challenge. However, except for ownership and management of WGFC-held lands, the WGFC has no statutory authority for protecting, restoring or enhancing fisheries or wildlife habitat. Since the management of fish and wildlife is inseparable from the habitat that sustains it, we must work in concert with private landowners and public land managers, conservation organizations, elected [...] (Read More)

  • Strategic Habitat Plan Annual Report - 2012

    Maintaining sustainable fish and wildlife populations in the face of complex and competing demands is one of the fundamental challenges facing the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission (WGFC) and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD). Biologists, conservationists, land managers, and private landowners have long recognized that habitat is one of the keys to answering the challenge. However, except for ownership and management of WGFC-held lands, the WGFC has no direct statutory authority for protecting, restoring or enhancing wildlife habitat. Since the management of wildlife is inseparable from the habitat that sustains it, we must work in concert with private landowners and public land managers, conservation organizations, elected [...] (Read More)

  • Strategic Habitat Plan Annual Report - 2013

    Maintaining sustainable fish and wildlife populations in the face of complex and competing demands is one of the fundamental challenges facing the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission (WGFC) and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD). Biologists, conservationists, land managers and private landowners have long recognized that habitat is one of the keys to answering the challenge. However, except for ownership and management of WGFC-held lands, the WGFC has no direct statutory authority for protecting, restoring or enhancing wildlife habitat. Since the management of wildlife is inseparable from the habitat that sustains it, we must work in concert with private landowners and public land managers, conservation organizations, elected [...] (Read More)

  • The Wyoming Range, Wyoming's Hidden Gem

    The Wyoming Range is one of Wyoming's unsung natural gems. In addition to alpine scenery and exceptional recreational opportunities, this 150-mile range provides important wildlife habitat in the southern reaches of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Prized herds of big game, populations of native cutthroat trout, threatened predators, and rare bird species rely on the Wyoming Range’s forested highlands, sage- covered foothills and pure water for survival. These lands also support a traditional ranching lifestyle on the open range. While tourist crowds descend on nearby National Parks and Wilderness areas, these mountains provide places for local residents to explore, hunt and fish. But more and more these days, as demand for natural [...] (Read More)

  • Threatened, Endangered, and Nongame Bird and Mammal Investigations 2003

    The Nongame Program of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (Department) was initiated in July 1977. This report summarizes data collected from 15 April 2002 to 14 April 2003 on various nongame bird and mammal surveys and projects conducted by Department personnel, other government agencies, and individuals in cooperation with the Department. Cooperating agencies and individuals are listed in Appendix I or in the individual completion reports, but we recognize that the listing does not completely credit the valuable contributions of the many cooperators, including Wyoming Game and Fish Department Regional Biologists and members of the public. In October of 1987, a Nongame Strategic Plan was distributed; this Plan was updated and renamed [...] (Read More)

  • Threatened, Endangered, and Nongame Bird and Mammal Investigations 2004

    The Nongame Program of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (Department) was initiated in July 1977. This report summarizes data collected from 15 April 2004 to 14 April 2005 on various nongame bird and mammal surveys and projects conducted by Department personnel, other government agencies, and individuals in cooperation with the Department. Cooperating agencies and individuals are listed in the individual completion reports, but we recognize that the listing does not completely credit the valuable contributions of the many cooperators, including Wyoming Game and Fish Department District Wildlife Biologists and members of the public. In October of 1987, a Nongame Strategic Plan was distributed; this Plan was updated and renamed in [...] (Read More)

  • Threatened, Endangered, and Nongame Bird and Mammal Investigations 2005

    The Nongame Program of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (Department) was initiated in July 1977. This report summarizes data collected from 15 April 2004 to 14 April 2005 on various nongame bird and mammal surveys and projects conducted by Department personnel, other government agencies, and individuals in cooperation with the Department. Cooperating agencies and individuals are listed in the individual completion reports, but we recognize that the listing does not completely credit the valuable contributions of the many cooperators, including Wyoming Game and Fish Department District Wildlife Biologists and members of the public. In October of 1987, a Nongame Strategic Plan was distributed; this Plan was updated and renamed in [...] (Read More)

  • Threatened, Endangered, and Nongame Bird and Mammal Investigations 2006

    The Nongame Program of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (Department) was initiated in July 1977. This report summarizes data collected from 15 April 2006 to 14 April 2007 on various nongame bird and mammal surveys and projects conducted by Department personnel, other government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and individuals in cooperation with the Department. Cooperating agencies and individuals are listed in the individual completion reports, but we recognize that the listing does not completely credit the valuable contributions of the many cooperators, including Wyoming Game and Fish Department District Wildlife Biologists and members of the public. In October of 1987, a Nongame Strategic Plan was distributed; this [...] (Read More)

  • Trout Unlimited's Conservation Success Index User Guide

    “How do we best conserve trout and salmon?” Answering this fundamental question is critical for achieving Trout Unlimited’s vision within the next 30 years and is the underlying goal of the Conservation Success Index (CSI). The Conservation Success Index is a tool developed by Trout Unlimited (TU) to help conserve and restore trout and salmon through the characterization of native and wild salmonid status at the subwatershed scale. TU’s membership as well as interested individuals, other conservation groups, and agencies concerned with the conservation of coldwater fishes can use the CSI to answer the following questions and thereby inform future management and restoration efforts: • What is the range-wide status of each species? [...] (Read More)

  • Wyoming Plant and Animal Species of Concern November 2003

    Interest in rare species has increased substantially over the past 40 years, and currently there is broad support for the conservation of rare plants and animals in North America. Natural resource managers, policy makers, and the public require an understanding of the identity, distribution, and abundance of rare species in order to develop effective conservation strategies. Such information is especially vital to management plans that strive to integrate the conservation of rare species with development of natural resources. This publication provides the most complete information available on the status of rare vertebrate species and vascular plant species in Wyoming. It updates and replaces previous lists [...] (Read More)

  • Wyoming Pocket Gopher (Thomomys clusius): A Technical Conservation Assessment

    Pocket gophers are members of the family Geomyidae, species of which inhabit virtually all of the United States, a large area of southwestern Canada, and much of Mexico. They are powerfully built mammals that are strongly adapted to fossorial living, with small ears, small eyes, fur-lined cheek pouches used to carry food, and very strong front limbs with long nails used for digging. Although considered pests in some agricultural situations, pocket gophers are important in soil development (incorporating organic matter), soil aeration, and promoting water storage in soil during spring runoff. The Wyoming pocket gopher (Thomomys clusius) is the only vertebrate animal that occurs exclusively in Wyoming; its known distribution [...] (Read More)

  • Wyoming Range Mule Deer Habitat Summary Report

    All over the west, management agencies and researchers are concerned with mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) populations that have been in a general decline over the past few decades. Though reasons why are compounding and very complex, a common theme that has become obvious is habitat quality and the amount available. This report provides a summary of various habitat monitoring and improvement projects, loss of habitat, and status of the Wyoming Range deer herd over the last half century. The Wyoming Range mule deer herd occupies an estimated 4,437 mi from the Hoback River south to the Redeye Basin, and encompasses much of the land west of the Green River to the Idaho border, which contains the Wyoming and Salt River mountain [...] (Read More)