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Wyoming Game and Fish, partners invest $12.9M toward conservation projects in 2020

Wyoming Game and Fish Department and Bridger Teton U.S. Forest Service crew installs a beaver dam analog on Little Horse Creek. (Wyoming Game and Fish Department)

CASPER, Wyo. — The Wyoming Game and Fish Department along with partner organizations invested $12.9 million toward aquatic and terrestrial habitat projects in 2020.

“The projects are crucial for conserving and growing populations of more than 800 species in Wyoming for future generations,” Game and Fish said on Monday.

The department says that it allocated over $3.3 million toward habitat projects in 2020, “about double the prior year’s amount.” An additional $9.6 million from the Wyoming Wildlife Natural Resources Trust fund, federal government funds, state funds, private landowners and local conservation partners was also leveraged. That is up $3 million from 2019 numbers.

“Habitat conservation is one of the most important tools the Wyoming Game and Fish Department uses to sustain wild and healthy populations of aquatic and terrestrial wildlife,” Game and Fish Director Brian Nesvik said. “This work would not be possible without the wide-ranging support of the people of this state to ensure we leave Wyoming a better place.  I want to thank all project partners who invested in Wyoming’s wildlife habitats in 2020.”

The department has also recently released a 2020 Strategic Habitat Plan Annual Report.

“The annual report details diverse accomplishments throughout the state,” Game and Fish said. “Despite the challenges of COVID-19, the department was able to execute 213 habitat projects. Game and Fish, alongside partners, helped direct restoration, monitoring and enhancement activities aimed at improving 271 stream miles and more than 712,898 acres of terrestrial habitats.”

“Herbicide treatments to help control and prevent the spread of invasive weeds topped out at 85,186 acres, nearly double the 2019 effort.

The Strategic Habitat Plan was revised and approved by the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission in 2020.

“The plan remains the cornerstone of habitat management in the state and directs Game and Fish efforts to focus on projects that invest in the future of Wyoming,” Game and Fish Statewide Terrestrial Habitat Manager Ian Tator said. “With our partners, we are able to maintain habitat as well as improve habitats that have been degraded.”