Migration Corridor Conservation Strategy
Governor Mark Gordon signed the Migration Corridor Executive Order (EO) 2020-1 on February 13, 2020 (see full text above). The Order supports conservation of mule deer and pronghorn, protects landowner rights and accommodates multiple-use opportunities.
Executive Order 2020-1 designated three mule deer corridors: Platte Valley, Baggs and Sublette. The Order outlines a science-based approach for identifying potential migration corridors. The approach includes an in-depth evaluation, public comment, and the creation of Local Area Working Groups that include landowners and elected officials prior to any corridor designation.
The formal designation of three mule deer corridors: Sublette, Baggs, and Platte Valley.
A process by which other corridors could be designated in the future (Appendix B).
The establishment of Local Area Working Groups to ensure that local considerations are made when considering corridors for designation while also allowing for potential management recommendations after designation (Appendix B).
Procedures and directives for State of Wyoming agencies to exercise their legal and regulatory authorities to protect annual movements, maintain migration corridor functionality, and minimize future disturbance (Appendix C).
Links to maps and shapefiles of designated corridors (Appendix D).
Acknowledges valid existing rights (Appendix E).
Guidance to State of Wyoming agencies to facilitate research using the best-available science and support the continued existence of functioning agricultural lands through collaboration with private landowners to build upon conservation efforts (Appendix F & G).
Encouragement and support for county land use plan revisions to ensure consistency with the provisions of the Order.
About the process
The broad process that led to the Executive Order began with the establishment of the Statewide Migration Corridor Advisory Group. The group met three times in 2019 and included representatives from the oil and gas, mining, and agriculture sectors, as well as conservation, recreation and sportsmen groups and a county commissioner. All meetings were open to the public.
The group's recommendations for Governor Gordon can be found here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HKwQZ2QPtOUmKyuG8pPPMbMvB1K5QL5l/view.
Statewide Migration Corridor Advisory Group members:
John Espy - for counties (Carbon County)
Kathy Lichtendahl - for conservation (Park County)
Maxwell R. Ludington - for recreation (Teton County)
Mike Schmid - for the Game and Fish Commissioners (Lincoln County)
Dan Stanton - for sportsperson’s groups (Sweetwater County)
Marty Stearns - for mining (Sweetwater County)
Marissa Taylor - for agriculture (Uinta County)
Kevin Williams - for oil and gas (Sublette County)
Above: 3 designated migration corridors for Sublette, Baggs, and Platte Valley
Wyoming Game and Fish Department's corridor mapping tool: https://tinyurl.com/WYMigrationCorridors
For more general information about corridors, visit the Wyoming Game and Fish web page here: https://wgfd.wyo.gov/Wildlife-in-Wyoming/Migration-Corridors.
Above: Wyoming Game and Fish Department's Ungulate Migration Corridor Strategy (revised January 28, 2019)
Summary of Statewide Advisory Group's Recommendations (September 2019)
LOCAL AREA WORKING GROUPS
Appendix B of EO 2020-1 requires the establishment of Local Area Working Groups to ensure that local considerations are made when considering corridors for designation while also allowing for potential management recommendations after designation. The first Local Area Working group has been established for the Platte Valley Mule Deer Migration Corridor as of November 2020.
Topics to be addressed by the Local Area Working Groups are:
● General review of the effectiveness of corridor designation on the migratory herd.
○ Recommendations may be made to maintain, reject or change the boundaries of the designation.
● Evaluation of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s draft Risk Assessment reports.
● Recommendations about additional opportunities for conservation.
● Examination of the impacts of all restrictions on development and use of lands encompassed in the designated corridor, including impacts to:
○ County revenues
○ Proposed and current projects
○ Other topics as identified
In December 2020, Governor Gordon appointed seven members to the Platte Valley Mule Deer Local Area Working Group in consultation with the Carbon County Commission to review the existing designation of the Platte Valley Mule Deer Migration corridor.
Baggs Local Area Working Group
To be established
Sublette Local Area Working Group
To be established
Game and Fish Overview of Migration Corridors (2/12/2019): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHcOstYxh14&feature=youtu.be
Presentation on Statewide Advisory Group's recommendations (September 12, 2019): https://drive.google.com/file/d/1eVYO8xCZGI3VpzhZCpOwJghM90Ku5-UK/view?usp=sharing
https://besjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1365-2664.13445 (Dr. Sawyer's paper from New Mexico/Colorado)
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/csp2.83 (Pronghorn study related to winter range, published July 2019)
https://www.uwyo.edu/haub/ruckelshaus-institute/wy-open-spaces-initiative/2019-migration-public-opinion-poll.html (social science related to migration corridors)