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Conserving world-class wildlife resources. Facilitating responsible development.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. What is the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI) and why was it created?
    The WLCI is a long-term, science-based program to assess and enhance aquatic and terrestrial habitats at a landscape scale in southwest Wyoming, while facilitating responsible development through local collaboration and partnerships. This program entails...
  2. Where did the idea for the WLCI originate?
    The idea began with discussions between the directors of the Wyoming Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department in the spring of 2006 about the need for a landscape-scale approach to ensure...
  3. What types of conservation work does the WLCI do?
    Projects have included fencing, wetland creation, prescribed burns, riparian enhancements, conservation easements, weed treatments and river restoration. These projects have benefitted multiple species, including greater sage-grouse, trumpeter swans,...
  4. What is the role of science in the WLCI?
    One of the most unique features of the WLCI is the application of science to decision-making processes. Scientific research is used to inform on-the-ground work done through the initiative. Scientific work conducted for the WLCI improves the...
  5. How do you decide which conservation projects to do?
    Conservation projects are developed at the local level by Local Project Development Teams (LPDTs) with the input of various individuals who are interested in participating. The projects are strategically designed to conserve resources at the landscape...
  6. What are the WLCI mission and objectives?
    The mission of the WLCI, as identified in the 2008 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), is to implement a long-term, science-based program to assess and enhance the quality and quantity of aquatic and terrestrial habitats at a landscape scale in southwest...
  7. What are the WLCI goals?
    The WLCI developed six goals in its Strategic Plan that support and conform to the overall WLCI mission:
    Goal 1: Manage, conserve, restore, or enhance the sagebrush, mountain shrub, aspen, riparian, and aquatic focus communities to ensure sustainability...
  8. Are there documents that provide guidance and information about the WLCI?
    Several documents guide the work done by the WLCI:The member organizations signed an updated Memorandum of Understanding in summer 2008 to outline the purpose and structure of the WLCI.The Strategic Plan, adopted in November 2008, describes the goals and...
  9. What opportunities are there for local people to get involved?/How do I present my project or other WLCI work?
    Working with partners, such as private land owners, is important because the WLCI will be most successful when the entire landscape, including both public and private lands, is enhanced. Participation can occur through attendance at meetings, information...
  10. What is the organizational structure of the WLCI?
    Multiple agencies work together and form various teams and committees to accomplish work for the WLCI. Access WLCI Organization Chart.
    An Executive Committee (EC) composed of government executives and elected officials provides the guidance and decision-...
  11. Why is the WLCI focused primarily in southwest Wyoming?
    Southwest Wyoming encompasses some of the highest quality wildlife habitats in the Intermountain West. Sagebrush, mountain shrub, aspen, riparian, and aquatic communities provide critical habitat for mule deer, elk, pronghorn antelope, greater sage-...
  12. What is meant by 'landscape' initiative?
    A landscape is a land area composed of a diversity of habitat types that encompass year-round fish and wildlife needs, such as winter range or migration corridors. Access to a variety of habitat types and seasonal ranges within a landscape is essential...
  13. What data and information resources are being used for the WLCI?
    The Data and Information Management Team (DIMT) provides resources that assist with information sharing and data analysis. Through efforts of the USGS and cooperation of the partner agencies, past monitoring and project information from all available...
  14. How do the enormous energy sources in southwest Wyoming, such as natural gas and coal, affect the region and the WLCI mission?
    The WLCI considers all development activities in southwest Wyoming, including energy development, in designing and locating future enhancements. The focus of the WLCI is to assess and enhance habitats and work with partners, including industry, to...
  15. Is the WLCI a top-down initiative or locally driven?
    The mission of the WLCI is to implement a long-term, science-based program to assess and enhance habitats at a landscape scale in southwest Wyoming. While this effort necessarily involves executive oversights and procedures, actual implementation is the...
  16. How are lands with potential mineral and energy resources identified?
    The USGS and the BLM evaluate existing data on mineral, energy and other land uses. They also collect and develop new information and tools to forecast future mineral and energy potential as well as other land uses.
  17. How do we know conservation projects won't be implemented in areas where future mineral and energy development may occur?
    Project consideration includes an assessment of potential development actions from all types of activities. Project locations and areas where future potential development actions might occur are being identified and mapped. Although technology for...
  18. How is wind power being considered by the WLCI?
    Wyoming has abundant wind power potential and several companies or individuals are interested in developing wind farms and associated infrastructure in the WLCI area. A few wind developments are already in place. Developers must go through a permitting...
  19. How do sage-grouse core areas fit into the WLCI?
    The Wyoming Governor’s Office designated sage-grouse core areas as locations where development of any type can only be done when no decline to the species can be demonstrated. The WLCI supports conservation of sage-grouse and considers its...
  20. How do future WLCI projects fit in existing federal land management plans and operations?
    The WLCI provides resources for various wildlife and habitat conservation projects. Initial projects on Federal lands have to fit within the scope of existing Federal land management plans. As this is a long-term initiative, over time some planning...
  21. What are the funding sources of the WLCI?
    Initial funding has come through Federal Appropriations. The U.S. Geological Survey received approximately $1.5 million in Fiscal Year 2008 (FY 08), $750,000 in FY 09 and $1.5 million in FY 10. The Bureau of Land Management received $400,000 in FY 07, $1...
  22. How long will funding be available?
    For the effort to be successful, long-term funding is required. Federal funding through congressional appropriations has been provided for multiple years and will continue to be requested. Non-Federal funding, such as that provided through the Ruby...
  23. How can the WLCI ensure sustainability and maintenance of projects in the long term (30-plus years)?
    Long-term sustainability will depend upon local partnerships, long-term contracts and agreements. As previously noted, the WLCI is looking for opportunities to secure long-term funding, part of which may be used for maintenance.
  24. How is monitoring conducted after projects are completed?
    Monitoring needs and methods are identified for projects as part of the project planning and development process. Implementation monitoring is conducted by the group that is primarily responsible for a project. The USGS conducts effectiveness monitoring...
  25. Are Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) used to analyze projects?
    Environmental analyses have been and will be completed for all projects. Currently, these analyses are anticipated to be documented in Environmental Assessments (EAs) and categorical exclusions. EAs may also tier to existing Environmental Impact...
  26. What is a CCAA or CCA?
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) provides agreements with non-Federal landowners called Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances (CCAAs) to address at-risk species that may become listed under the Endangered Species Act in the future....
  27. How does the WLCI handle projects on private lands?
    The intent of the WLCI is to enhance the landscape of southwest Wyoming, including both public and private lands. Work occurs on private lands through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program and Natural Resources...
  28. How does the WLCI work with operators (livestock) that cross state lines?
    The WLCI works in and provides information to southwest Wyoming. Businesses with operations in both the WLCI area and adjacent states can still participate in activities that may occur in southwest Wyoming. The WLCI welcomes additional participation,...
  29. Does the WLCI include the Wyoming Standards for Healthy Rangelands and similar standards as one of its objectives?
    Federal and State WLCI partners retain all responsibilities for compliance with law, rules, and regulations as they relate to WLCI objectives and activities. This includes but is not limited to Wyoming Standards for Healthy Rangelands.
  30. How do I send my comments on the WLCI?
    Currently comments may be submitted by email at WLCI_WYMail@blm.gov or mailed to WLCI, 280 Highway 191 North, Rock Springs, Wyoming 82901.