The Shirley Basin watershed area provides habitat for a variety of wildlife species including identified core areas for greater sage grouse, as well as historic sage grouse ranges outside of core areas. Project objectives center around bringing upland and riparian vegatation, wildlife habitat, and watershed health towards a condition that will better benefit, Sage Grouse. Improving areas of nesting habitat as well as brood rearing habitat for grouse will be the major focus is the Shirley Basin area.
The Shirley Basin watershed area provides habitat for a variety of wildlife species including greater sage-grouse Core Area. Current landowners, Permitees, Conservation Dist., WGFD, and BLM have identified this area/projects as having potential to positively improve nesting habitat as well as brood rearing habitat for greater sage-grouse.
The project area lies within an area designated as a Crucial Habitat Priority Area in the 2009 Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Statewide Strategic Habitat Plan. These are areas that need to be protected or managed to maintain viable healthy populations of terrestrial and aquatic wildlife for the present and future. They represent habitat values and identify where those values occur on the landscape. Examples of values include crucial winter range, sage grouse core area seasonal habitats, Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) diversity and uniqueness, quality and condition of vegetative communities, movement corridors, quality of watershed hydrologic function, etc. The Department will concentrate habitat protection and management activities in these areas.
Identified projects include the development and protection of between 3-4 naturally ocurring spring sites within the project boundaries during 2011. Construction of approximately 15 miles of wildlife-friendly pasture fencing is proposed to convert livestock grazing permits from summer, season-long use to rotated grazing systems incorporating deferment and recovery periods. It is felt that around 3 miles of pasture/allotment fencing can be targeted for modification during 2011. Additionally, up to 10 miles of pipeline and 5 new water troughs are proposed to service resulting pastures and to better distribute livestock use.
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