Strategic Habitat Plan Annual Report - 2004
Tags: WLCI Agency Report
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 species, including many considered to be at-risk. Conserving these species one species at a time is impractical over the long-term. To effectively answer these challenges, there is a great need for the Department to be collaboratively involved in habitat-related decisions at a landscape level on public lands and to work with private landowners on private lands throughout Wyoming.
In recognition of this need, The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission adopted a strategic habitat plan in 2001. The plan has three primary goals as follows:
1. Manage, preserve and restore habitat for long-term sustainable management of wildlife populations.
2. Increase wildlife based recreation through habitat enhancements that increase productivity of wildlife.
3. Increase or maintain wildlife habitat and associated recreation on Commission lands.
Each goal is accompanied by a number of objectives and strategies designed to achieve that goal. These goals and strategies were developed by an inter-divisional, inter-disciplinary team, and were designed for implementation collaboratively across division lines, and with a multitude of partners. It is of paramount im- portance that habitat conservation in Wyoming be extended to the landscape/watershed level, working collabor- atively across organizational lines within and outside the Department, and across political and legal boundaries on the ground.
The material addressed in this report discusses the implementation. We are approaching habitat conservation based on the land itself and the needs of all the wildlife and people who depend on it. This requires a great deal of teamwork and a broader view of our responsibilities. Plan implementation represents not a reorganization of the past, but a bold step into the future.
The purpose of this 2004 annual report is to highlight information and documentations to the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission and other interested parties about the activities of the Terrestrial Habitat, Aquatic Habitat, and the Habitat and Access Maintenance programs of the Department as well as associated portions of the Lands Administration program. The report includes actions, activities, and on-the-ground accomplishments of personnel within the four programs toward implementing the Strategic Habitat Plan.