County to hear about wildlife movements


The public and

Sublette County Board of Commissioners will

have the chance to hear more details about

two proposed pronghorn and mule deer migration

corridors at its meeting Tuesday, June

4, at 10 a.m. in the Marbleton Town Hall.

Wyoming Game and Fish Wildlife Management

Coordinator Brandon Scurlock, of

Pinedale, will bring commissioners and interested

citizens up to date “officially” on those

proposed migration corridors as well as potential

funding for a new Dry Piney wildlife

crossing.

Scurlock said “nothing is new” since the

Game and Fish’s public meeting in February

with the proposed designations of Wyoming’s

Sublette Pronghorn Migration Corridor and

Wyoming Range Mule Deer Migration Corridor.

Three county commissioners attended that

meeting and asked questions but the board has

not addressed the topic officially.

“There were a few individuals throughout

the state that believe the Game and Fish has

not done enough outreach, so we're essentially

taking extra steps to increase outreach,” Scurlock

said. “I believe all the Sublette County

Commissioners know about these two corridors,

but we'll make it official by being on

their agenda.”

While a separate Game and Fish project,

the Dry Piney wildlife-highway crossing is

one of the busiest places locally where wildlife,

especially Wyoming Range mule deer,

and vehicles collide during spring and fall

migrations.

Commissioner Mack Rawhouser has often

pointed out high wildlife mortalities on that

stretch of U.S. Highway 189 near LaBarge

and Fontenelle Reservoir.

From Fontenelle at milepost 77 to Big

Piney at milepost 105, an average of 117

mule deer are killed a year – one of the highest

rates in Wyoming. Wyoming Department

of Transportation with Game and Fish studied

the problems and the possible solution for the

entire portion with 10 or more underpasses

and wildlife fencing.

It estimated that $819,000 in human injuries

and vehicle damages could be saved a

year if the entire project is built. In the 5-mile

stretch, an average of 37 animals are killed a

year.

The two agencies met on May 3 to prioritize

crossing areas and drew up the Dry Piney

Phase 1 design for 5 miles of high deer fences,

similar to those along Highway 191 near Daniel

and Pinedale. The design also proposes

two simple single-span-bridge underpasses.

WYDOT estimates to build Phase 1 in

2010 were $3.98 million and for 2020, almost

$5.6 million with 4-percent inflation.

“I wanted to mention to the Sublette

County Commissioners, again, officially, that

the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission

recently appropriated $1.25 million toward

wildlife highway crossing projects in Wyoming,”

Scurlock said. “The Dry Piney project

is among the projects that may receive funding.

I think (Sublette) County wants to help

too, and we'd both like to get local adjacent

landowner opinions on where crossing structures

should be located, so the (June 4) meeting

is a good venue to determine how best to

proceed.”

Advertisement


Video News
More In Home Page