The habitat in Wyoming is vast and oftentimes looked at as large open landscapes covered in sagebrush and nothing more. But that sagebrush is the life bread to many animals that call the prairie home during the harsh winter months. Sagebrush is said to cover 23-37 million acres across Wyoming. It is crucial forage for many animals such as elk, deer, pronghorn, moose, and sage grouse.
The winter of 2022-2023 was an extremely harsh one and took its toll specifically on our mule deer and pronghorn antelope populations. That is one of the reasons we are starting a specific project aimed directly at solving some of the problems that our wildlife herds faced this past winter, hoping to achieve some measure of relief for them in future winters to come.
One of those solutions is the implementation of a wildlife specific nursery. The wildlife nursery will specifically house and grow forage that is essential for wildlife to subsist throughout the harsh winter months. We are going to target the main plants that these animals live on during the winter months like winter fat, big sagebrush, mountain mahogany, serviceberry, and many others.
We will grow them in all phases of the plants life cycle and provide it to wildlife organizations to help supplement forage and habitat for our wildlife. We will use the seedlings, have them in potted plants ready to be planted, and even use the older dying bushes in pellet or wafer form to maximize the nutrients from them. This will ensure adequate nourishment for the wildlife and will help to increase survival rates of adults and fawns regardless of the severity of the winter.
The wildlife nursery is an enormous project and will require a lot of funding, planning, and time to begin bringing more forage to the landscape. It will be completed in multiple phases. PHASE 1 of the wildlife nursery will include acquiring the land where we can build the greenhouses for growing plants year-round, getting it ready to begin planting, and getting seeds into the soil in our outdoor planting sections. Future phases will include the construction of commercial-grade greenhouses where we can grow throughout the year. We will also add a storefront where plants can be purchased and sold to the public and agencies for use across the landscape.
We will be funding this project from multiple sources such as national and local grants, fundraisers, and private donations. Every avenue and every bit of money that is donated will be very useful in getting this project completed and into production as soon as possible. This will ensure that the winter range habitat will receive new plants to help increase the sustainable forage that is available to our wildlife herds for survival.
If you are willing and able to help out with a financial donation, please click below to be redirected to the donation page. If more isn't done to ensure that our herds are healthy and strong going into the winter, we won't have our animals very much longer. Please consider a donation if possible.