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Industry Groups' Letter Slows Approval Of Migration Corridors

The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission has proposed migration corridors in western Wyoming, one for mule deer and another for pronghorn. The hope is to help overcome some of their challenges, such as fencing along the routes.
Joe Riis
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The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission has proposed migration corridors in western Wyoming, one for mule deer and another for pronghorn. The hope is to help overcome some of their challenges, such as fencing along the routes.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission has proposed migration corridors in western Wyoming, one for mule deer and another for pronghorn. The hope is to help overcome some of their challenges, such as fencing along the routes.
Credit Joe Riis
/
The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission has proposed migration corridors in western Wyoming, one for mule deer and another for pronghorn. The hope is to help overcome some of their challenges, such as fencing along the routes.

Wyoming is leading the trend on protecting wildlife migration routes across the region, but the state's latest move to add two more migration routes is being held up by a letter from a coalition of industries, including oil and gas, mining and livestock interests. Jim Magagna is with the Wyoming Stock Growers Association.

"We became concerned," he said, "not necessarily with the designation, but with the lack of a clear path forward after they designate it."

He said there's a lot of confusion about how migration routes are designated.

"Three deer use a route and one of them happens to be collared, that becomes a migration corridor," said Magagna. "I'm not sure that's the factual situation but I certainly need to better understand what are the criteria for saying, 'this isn't just a place some animals move but it's clearly a migration corridor.'"

Wyoming Game and Fish Department has agreed to slow the approval process down in order to hear those concerns. But Linda Baker said there was plenty of time to hear those concerns during public meetings held around the state. Baker is with a local conservation group, the Upper Green River Alliance, and said the key issue here is keeping migrating wildlife healthy.

"These migration corridors are thousands and thousands of years old. Once the migration corridors are lost, they may never be recovered."

Baker said these are long, narrow corridors and that means they have little impact on grazing or mineral leases. 

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.

Copyright 2020 Wyoming Public Radio. To see more, visit .

Melodie Edwards graduated with an MFA from the University of Michigan on Colby Fellowship where she received two Hopwood Awards in fiction and nonfiction. Glimmer Trainpublished “Si-Si-Gwa-D” in 2002 where it was one of the winners of their New Writers fiction contest. She has published stories in S outh Dakota Quarterly, North Dakota Review, Michigan Quarterly, Prairie Schooner, Crazyhorseand others. She is the recipient of the Doubleday Wyoming Arts Council Award for Women. “The Bird Lady” aired on NPR's Selected Shorts and Prairie Schoonernominated the story for a Pushcart Prize. She has a story upcoming in an anthology of animal stories, published by Ashland Creek Press. She is the author of "Hikes Around Fort Collins," now in its third printing. She is circulating Outlawry,a novel about archeology theft in the 1930's with publishing houses. She is currently working on a young adult trilogy about a secret society of crows and ravens.
Melodie Edwards
Phone: 307-766-2405
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