Strategic Habitat Plan Annual Report - 2002
Tags: WLCI Agency Report
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 on public and private lands in Wyoming.
In recognition of this need, the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission adopted a strategic habitat plan in 2001. The plan is centered around three goals. These goals are:
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 are designed to be implemented collaboratively across division lines. It is of paramount importance that habitat conservation in Wyoming be carried out on a landscape level, working collaboratively across organizational lines within and outside the Department, and across political and legal boundaries on the ground.
The implementation of this plan will require an effort unlike those of previous efforts. It will require a new way of approaching habitat conservation, an effort which is based on the land itself and the needs of all the wildlife and people who depend on it. It will require teamwork and a broader view of our responsibilities. Most of all, it will require a change in the way we think of habitat and habitat conservation. This plan requires a new level of thinking. It represents not a reorganization of the past, but a bold step into the future
The purpose of this 2002 annual report is to provide information and documentation 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. The report includes steps taken toward implementing the strategic habitat plan as well as some of the on-the-ground accomplishments of field personnel within the three programs. We hope the report will acquaint the Commission, the general public, interested constituents, landowners, partners, and cooperators with habitat projects, activities, and functions locally and on a statewide basis. Without your cooperation, input, communication, and support, wildlife conservation in Wyoming would be impossible. We believe "habitat" and "open spaces" are the keys to maintaining wild and healthy populations of fish and wildlife. We greatly appreciate your assistance and support.