Landowners needed for new conservation project
September 1, 2022
Crook County Natural Resource District is looking for landowners to participate in a new conservation project developed in partnership with its counterpart in Weston County.
The aim of the Northeast Wyoming Habitat Improvement Partnership is to, "Enhance and conserve wildlife habitats by addressing conifer encroachment and selectively thinning woodland areas to reduce raptor predation in core sage-grouse areas, to promote quality forage for mule deer, to improve elk habitat and to deter another mountain pine beetle epidemic," according to CCNRD.
As a conservation district, CCNRD provides for the conservation of natural resources throughout this county, including protection of public lands and the county's tax base, preservation of wildlife and natural resources and promotion of the general welfare, health and safety of the people who live here.
On that basis, CCNRD said in a statement about the new program that it, "Has concerns regarding the loss of wildlife habitat due to landscape fragmentation and housing developments and has therefore partnered with neighboring Weston County Natural Resource District to implement wildlife habitat improvement projects throughout northeastern Wyoming."
Landowners who participate will have the opportunity to apply for financial assistance to conduct treatments.
The district has determined a target area, mainly located along a strip of the county stretching from almost the northern border, north of Hulett, down between Moorcroft and Sundance into Weston County. Other landowners may also apply, but will be ranked separately if funding is available.
The two districts will be working in conjunction with Wyoming Game and Fish, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Wyoming State Forestry to implement projects that will meet the project's goals. Treatments will target tree encroachment into meadows, sagebrush/grasslands, riparian (creek) areas and selective thinning for forest health.
"In addition to obtaining wildlife habitat benefits, these projects will reduce the risk of catastrophic wildlife and will assist in preventing another mountain pine beetle epidemic," according to a statement from CCNRD.
The landscape-scale projects are aimed at promoting healthier ecological lands with more diverse species composition, increased structural and age diversity of plant communities and improved habitats. The treatment types include meadow enhancement on open areas at least half an acre in size, removal of conifers and tree thinning.
For the project to work, CCNRD needs willing landowners and lessees to help achieve its goals. If you are interested, contact Sarah Anderson at 283-2870 x100 or via [email protected].
Applications will be accepted until September 16.