Grassland Bird & Mammal Plan
Ready for Public Review & Input
by Wyoming Game & Fish
April 1, 2006
A draft plan crafted by a working group of public and private entities over the last two years to aid birds and mammals of concern on eastern Wyoming grasslands has been released for public review and will be discussed at three public meetings in April.
The effort was prompted by the mutual desire of the groups involved to help the plight of species of concern, such as swift fox, mountain plover, burrowing owl and many others, so the animals do not become candidates for the federal Endangered Species List.
"By many accounts, grasslands are the most threatened ecosystems in North America," said Reg Rothwell, Game and Fish Department supervisor of Biological Services. "This diverse variety of interests has come together to help these species that have suffered the most from the declining grassland acreage and changing land use."
The working group that crafted the plans included representatives of agriculture, landowner and conservation groups, the mineral and energy industry and the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service and Game and Fish.
"Basically, the plan offers various financial incentives to landowners to help these species," Rothwell said.
The funding for the incentives come from the State Wildlife Grants Program, the Landowner Incentive Program, U.S. Department of Agriculture programs, such as those in the Farm Bill, and various other sources.
The draft, officially called "A Plan for Bird and Mammal Species of Greatest Conservation Need in Eastern Wyoming Grasslands," can be viewed on the Game and Fish website at: http://gf.state.wy.us/, at Game and Fish offices and at public libraries in eastern Wyoming.
The meetings begin at 7 p.m.:
April 18 Sheridan G&F Office
April 19 Douglas Converse County Courthouse
April 20 Cheyenne WYDOT Auditorium
Written comments can be submitted at the meetings or by mailing: Grassland Species Plan, WGFD, 5400 Bishop Blvd., Cheyenne, WY 82006 or e-mailing: WGFgrasslandplan@wgf.state.wy.us. Written comments must be received by 5 pm May 17. From the comments received, revisions will be made, and the plan will be presented to the Game and Fish Commission at its Sept. 7-8 meeting in Casper for final approval.