A Wyoming Landowners Handbook to Fences and Wildlife
Practical tips for fencing with wildlife in mind
By Christine Paige, Ravenworks Ecology
Countless miles of fence crisscross the West like strands of a spider’s web. Fences are important for controlling livestock and trespass. They define and separate ranches and farms, outline property boundaries, enclose pastures and rangelands, and prevent livestock from straying onto highways.
Yet those miles of fence can also create hazards and barriers for wildlife, from big game animals to birds. Fences can block or hinder daily wildlife movements, seasonal migrations, and access to forage and water. In this vital guide’s second edition, revised and updated in 2015, from the Wyoming Wildlife Foundation, building effective yet wildlife-friendly fencing is beautifully illustrated and clearly explained.
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Aspen trees and forests are especially important in the Rocky Mountains. Aspens add beauty to landscapes, foster high diversity and productivity of understory plants, provide for the habitat needs of many species of animals, and moderate fire behavior. There is a perception that aspen trees and stands are not regenerating well in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico; cohorts of trees younger than a few decades are scarce, at least in some areas. The next generation of aspen in the southern Rockies will be influenced by land use decisions, including harvesting, fire policy and management, and browsing by livestock and wildlife.
This guide presents some ways landowners can earn compensation for their stewardship efforts directly or indirectly—schemes sometimes referred to as payments for ecosystem services, ecosystem services markets, or conservation finance. It goes beyond description to provide illustrative case studies of these strategies at work.
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