Over 500 Miles of Wildlife-Friendly Fencing Converted in Sublette County

Over 500 Miles of Wildlife-Friendly Fencing Converted in Sublette County

PINEDALE — Wildlife-friendly fence conversion is nothing new for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and its partners. But the amount of work done over the last five years in Sublette County is nothing short of impressive. Since 2017 more than 500 miles of fence has been converted to the wildlife-friendly variety as part of the Upper Green Wildlife-Friendly Fence Initiative, and close to 700 miles of fence has been converted to wildlife-friendly throughout the county over the last decade. 

The Upper Green Wildlife-Friendly Fence Initiative is a cooperative effort with Game and Fish, Sublette County Conservation District and the Natural Resource Conservation Service, along with other federal agencies and non-governmental organizations. 

The collaborative effort not only helps convert old fences to wildlife-friendly on private lands, but prioritizes modifications and removals in crucial habitat for big game. 

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“Landowner participation has been the cornerstone of the growth and success of the program,” said Troy Fieseler, Game and Fish terrestrial habitat biologist in the Pinedale Region. “We wouldn’t be where we are today without them.”

Much of the area with the converted fencing is within migratory habitat for mule deer and pronghorn in Sublette County. This supports Game and Fish’s ongoing efforts to prioritize conservation work in these important habitats in the Sublette mule deer and pronghorn herds as well as the Wyoming Range mule deer herd.

However, ungulates aren’t the only species that benefit from this work. Fieseler said some fence conversions help sage grouse by improving visibility of the top wire.

The Initiative compliments the recent partnership between United States Department of Agriculture and the State of Wyoming through the Big Game Conservation Partnership, which has provided additional funding to landowners through several programs, one of which includes wildlife-friendly fence modifications.