Western Landowners Alliance (WLA) board member and Wyoming rancher Marissa Taylor and WLA’s policy director Jessica Crowder spent June 8th and 9th participating in Governor Gordon’s Migration Advisory Committee (Committee) in Lander, Wyoming. Governor Gordon appointed Taylor to the Committee to represent agriculture and landowners. Governor Gordon has tasked the Committee with recommendations intended to improve Wyoming’s policies related to big game migration corridors with a focus on energy development. This was the second of three meetings the group will hold this summer to develop recommendations for Governor Gordon’s consideration.
At the previous meeting in Rock Springs, the Committee learned about energy development processes from the Petroleum Association of Wyoming and their partners. The Wyoming Stock Growers Association presented information related to livestock grazing management and intermingled land ownership programs. This week, Dr. Hall Sawyer of Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc. provided background and insight into the science of big game migration corridors and several conservation groups presented information about the importance of corridors.
WLA appreciates the opportunity to participate in these important conversations. Landowners and land managers value migration corridors and provide essential habitat for migrating wildlife species as part of their operations. Without these contributions, many wildlife movements would be restricted, to the detriment of their health, genetic diversity and survival. By making it positive for landowners to be on the migration corridor map, WLA is working to ensure that the interests of both wildlife and landowners are supported and the working lands that both people and wildlife depend on remain intact and healthy.
As Taylor pointed out during the meetings, “Private landowners have made generational sacrifices to keep their land and implement conservation. The public should not expect those landowners who have made those sacrifices to bear the entire burden of conserving wildlife.” We hope this Committee’s work ensures opportunities for landowners and land managers to have an integral role in the process of identifying and managing big game migration corridors in Wyoming and across the West.
To read more about our take on migration corridors on the western landscape, please see articles in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and the Mountain Journal. To learn more about the Committee, please visit https://governor.wyo.gov/media/news-releases/governor-launches-big-game-migration-corridor-advisory-group
Please contact Jessica Crowder, WLA’s policy director, with questions or comments on this or other WLA policy work: Jessica@westernlandowners.org.
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