WYG&F Announces Conservation Partners Invest More Than  Million in Habitat Projects – Sheridan Media
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WYG&F Announces Conservation Partners Invest More Than $13 Million in Habitat Projects – Sheridan Media

The Wyoming Department of Game and Fisheries reports that, in collaboration with multiple partners, more than $13 million has been invested in aquatic and terrestrial habitat projects in 2023. The department says these projects are critical to protecting and growing populations of more than 800 species in Wyoming for generations to come.

Game and Fish recently released its 2023 Statewide Habitat Plan annual report, which highlights a variety of project accomplishments across the state. Game and Fish has committed more than $4.6 million to habitat projects and has been able to leverage that amount to more than $8.6 million from the Wyoming Wildlife Natural Resources Trust, federal funds, state funds, private landowners, and local conservation partners. This equates to $2.86 from outside partners for every dollar allocated to Game and Fish. With these funds, Game and Fish was able to complete 237 projects in 2023.

“Quality habitat is essential to effective wildlife management,” said Brian Nesvik, Game and Fish director. “The Department is deeply committed to maintaining healthy populations of aquatic and terrestrial wildlife. By investing in our habitat, we create resilient landscapes that enable wildlife to survive fluctuating water availability and harsh winters.”

Game and Fish and partners have come together to work toward a sustainable future. Over the past year, SHP has led numerous aquatic habitat improvements that have improved more than 155 miles of stream.

“Improving and restoring stream miles is essential for aquatic habitat. It improves water quality, increases biodiversity and ensures the viability of fish and other aquatic species,” said Paul Dey, Game and Fish Statewide Aquatic Habitat manager. “Healthy streams provide essential resources such as clean water, food and shelter for aquatic species, and support a balanced and thriving ecosystem.”

In addition to its work on aquatic habitat, Game and Fish has collaborated on projects that have resulted in the management of more than 935,000 acres of terrestrial habitat. Herbicide treatments to control and prevent the spread of invasive grasses have been completed on 80,704 acres.

“Reducing the spread of cheatgrass and other invasive grasses for the benefit of wildlife is a priority for the Department,” said Ian Tator, Game and Fish Statewide Terrestrial Habitat manager. “We will continue to focus our energy on this important task to ensure species like mule deer and sage grouse have access to the resources they need.”

More details about the projects and the species they affect can be found in the report.

Wyoming habitat work would not be possible without partnerships. The Statewide Habitat Plan’s annual report highlights the accomplishments achieved through partnerships. This year’s annual report recognizes the Muley Fanatic Foundation for its partnerships and contributions to habitat restoration, wildlife crossings, and conservation education.

“Without our partners, we would not be able to achieve our goals or achieve the same level of impact, and in 2023, the Muley Fanatic Foundation showed what is possible when we have strong partnerships,” Nesvik said.

Current and archived reports can be downloaded from the Game and Fish website.