The Rawlins Fence Conversions is a continuation of the Muddy Creek and WY Youth Conservation Crew fencing conversion completed in 2008. This project also compliments the Grizzly WHMA Fence Conversion Project and the Red Rim WHMA Improvement Project by removing impenetrable sheep fence and converting it to “wildlife friendly” fence. This large-scale conversion is necessary to maintain migration corridors and provide access to good habitat, especially as these herds face increasing bottlenecks from oil and gas development or during severe winter weather. Since over half of crucial winter range occurs in mixed land ownership, partnering with permittees and other private landowners are critical to complete fence conversions. BLM personnel, WGFD biologists, permittees, and other people with on-the-ground knowledge have been solicited for information to prioritize fencing conversion. The goal is to convert fifty miles of fence per year to wildlife friendly standards. This is to be accomplished by supplying materials to ranchers, who would either provide or pay for labor to replace old fencing. Also, utilizing Wyoming Conservation Corps or volunteers to provide the labor for conversions and issuing contracts to complete some fence work. The Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resources Trust Fund, Rocky Mnt. Elk Foundation, and oil and gas companies have expressed support in cost sharing in this type of project. WGFD is a strong supporter of this effort due to the extensive effect on big game herds.
2010 Update: 7.6 miles on contract in four locations (JC) (JO Ranch, W. Wild Cow, Baggs Subunit, Cottonwood Creek). Two WCC crews completed 1 miles at Sandhills (JC), 2 riparian exclosures at Lamont and Table Mountain (JH), and 3 miles at Creston Junction (JC). Devon WCC crew completed L. Robber Exclosure reconstruction (JI) and ¾ mile at H&C (JC).