Preserving wildlife connectivity in the Snake River riparian corridor
The Munger Mountain Corridor Project is an exciting project with the potential for landscape-scale benefits to Jackson Hole and its incredible wildlife, scenic and ranching values. The project would protect several hundred acres of land on the northern slope of Munger Mountain, linking key habitat areas for one of the largest herds of elk in North America and protecting a portion of the nationally renowned Snake River, a federally-designated National Wild and Scenic River. It would forever connect the Bridger-Teton National Forest, adjacent properties protected by over 500 acres of JHLT easements, and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s South Park Elk Feedground. The corridor also provides critical habitat for bald eagles as well as numerous species that rely on the Snake River corridor for migration, feeding and nesting grounds. In addition to the wildlife conservation values this conservation easement would provide, the scenic and agricultural conservation values are noteworthy as well, making this an ideal project for JHLT.
The project is the first in the state of Wyoming to receive commitments for funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Legacy Program, a federal funding program that works with state agencies and local landowners to protect environmentally important forests that are threatened with conversion to non-forest uses. In Wyoming, the Forest Legacy Program is administered cooperatively by the U.S. Forest Service and the Wyoming State Forestry Division. The project has strong support from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, the Bridger-Teton National Forest, and the Teton County Commissioners. Due to this broad support, the Jackson Hole Land Trust was also awarded a conditional grant from the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust by the Wyoming Legislature in 2013. The Jackson Hole Land Trust is honored to play a role in this ongoing conservation effort. As with all of our conservation projects, there is much work to be done and important details to be worked out before we finalize this exciting project. The Land Trust is working diligently with its partners to complete this project.
Executive Director, Laurie Andrews, says of the project, “the reason this easement is especially important is that it would provide crucial connectivity within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, particularly vital to wildlife as the ecosystem continues to change. To know in perpetuity that wildlife, be it elk or bear, can migrate from the state feedground and the Snake River corridor to higher habitats is a legacy we will be proud to have ensured. The support of the Forest Service and numerous other state and regional organizations is testament to the nationally significant conservation values of the Munger Mountain Corridor Project. The success of this project would be an incredible win for Jackson Hole’s wildlife and the public.”
Project update, December 5th, 2014: The Munger Mountain Corridor is complete! Read the full press release.
See the Munger Mountain Corridor Project Area as if you were out on the land! 360-degree panoramics from October 2014, by Inlight Media. Use the controls to zoom, pan, and rotate.
Lower Snake River Ranch Lands, Munger Mountain