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Wyoming Mule Deer Herds To Benefit From Increased Funding

Mule deer on the winter range in southwest Wyoming.
USFWS Mountain-Prairie
Wikimedia Commons

The last of five installments of funding totaling almost $2.5 million was approved by the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission recently. The $560,000 has been distributed over the past five years to support the Statewide Mule Deer Initiative.

"Mule deer have seen a decline in total numbers throughout the West, certainly Wyoming's no exception. And so the commission wanted to take a proactive approach and stance on mule deer management and so the Mule Deer Initiative was formed out of that proactive approach to doing something meaningful for mule deer in Wyoming," Ian Tator, the Game and Fish statewide terrestrial biologist, said.

A majority of the funding will be used to support habitat improvement efforts around the state, like fighting cheatgrass spread to support native plant productivity and reducing the encroachment of conifers into aspen stands, which provide coverage and forage for mule deer.

The rest of the funding will be used in a variety of projects ranging from research on Chronic Wasting Disease to improving fencing in wildlife corridors and researching mule deer movement patterns.

In conjunction with partners around the state, many of the projects receiving funding are already in progress but new work will begin in early summer.

The Commission has preliminarily indicated interest in supporting another five years of work.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Ivy Engel, at iengel@uwyo.edu.

Ivy started as a science news intern in the summer of 2019 and has been hooked on broadcast ever since. Her internship was supported by the Wyoming EPSCoR Summer Science Journalism Internship program. In the spring of 2020, she virtually graduated from the University of Wyoming with a B.S. in biology with minors in journalism and business. When she’s not writing for WPR, she enjoys baking, reading, playing with her dog, and caring for her many plants.
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