Huge efforts are being made in Wyoming to prop up their icon mule deer herds.
In March of 2016 the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission pledged to allocate $2.5 million over the course of the next five years to improving mule deer habitat as well as general support throughout the state.
The state will focus their efforts on 10 mule deer herds throughout the state. Money invested will go toward improving more than 13,000 acres of habitat for the herds. In addition to improving habitat, the money will also be used to build migration corridors for the now famous mule deer migration, and to help manage chronic wasting disease within the herd.
The commission has developed a series of projects they predict will be beneficial to their herds. Projects have been laid out in a yearly schedule with five and even 10 year projects planned.
This investments comes as part of an older grassroots movement within Wyoming that seeks to address problems with the mule deer habitat and population. The decline in mule deer population has been well documented and the state is looking to stop the descent.
Two of the herds that will be focused on have received similar aide in the past. One herd that has seen excellent results is the Baggs mule deer herd. As a result of the state’s efforts, the Baggs herd population has risen since 2010. The population of 22,000 to 25,000 actually surpasses the objective set for this time.
Tony Mong, a senior biologist at the Wyoming Game and Fish Department thinks the new investment is a step in the right direction. In regards to the efforts he said “It’s great the commission is making an investment here in Wyoming and I think it’s a positive step.”
Hopefully Wyoming’s efforts will pay off and they can help their decreasing mule deer populations.