Pheasants Forever is proud to announce a new project in northeast Wyoming that aims to rejuvenate upland wet meadow habitat. The project will take place on rangeland in and around the Buffalo sage-grouse core area and will benefit both wildlife and ranching communities promoting floodplain connectivity and countering soil erosion
The project is part of a larger initiative in Wyoming made possible through a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation – ConocoPhillips SPIRIT of Conservation grant, which is set to impact over 7,500 acres of sagebrush/sage grouse habitat.
Upland wet meadows, also referred to as “mesic” meadows are like nature’s groundwater reservoirs — gradually releasing stored water. As summer transitions into fall in the semi-arid shortgrass prairie, these meadows remain green while the surrounding uplands dry out. The resulting plants and insects play a crucial role as food for developing sage grouse chicks.
“The project's primary focus is the restoration and enhancement of mesic upland draws using a low-tech approach known as Zeedyk structures,” said Lynette Sutphin, a Pheasants Forever coordinating wildlife biologist in northeast Wyoming. “Hand-built rock and wood structures are strategically placed to repair head cuts, mitigate erosion and restore floodplain connectivity. This method permits water to flow through drainages at a slower pace, which allows sediment to settle. This, in turn, raises the water table resulting in water retention and continued grass and forb production in late summer and fall.”
This endeavor is supported by the Falxa Ranch, as well as the generous financial contributions of a private donor. These financial contributions will allow Pheasants Forever and its partners to increase the scale of habitat conservation in Northeast Wyoming for both sage grouse and countless other species of wildlife.
About Pheasants Forever
and Quail Forever
make up the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. This community of more than 400,000 members, supporters and partners is dedicated to the protection of our uplands through habitat improvement, public access, education and advocacy. A network of 754 local chapters spread across North America determine how 100 percent of their locally raised funds are spent — the only national conservation organization that operates through this grassroots structure. Since its creation in 1982, the organization has dedicated more than $1 billion to 575,000 habitat projects benefiting 24 million acres.