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Red Butte Rising Wind River Program Lander Front

Wind River Program Protects 234 Acres of Wildlife Habitat Along Lander Front

The Jackson Hole Land Trust (JHLT) announced today that 234 acres on the Lander front in Fremont County have been protected through the Red Butte Rising conservation easement, now held by the JHLT’s Wind River Program.

Protected in perpetuity on December 28, 2023, Red Butte Rising contains important open space to support big game habitat and migratory routes. The property contains high-quality wet meadow, sagebrush, and grassland habitats, which contribute to the ecological viability of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

“This is a significant conservation gain for the JHLT’s Wind River Program and the program’s first easement along the Lander front,” said Max Ludington, president of the JHLT. “The working lands and wildlife habitats that exist on this property are conservation priorities for the Wind River Program. We are thrilled that the landowner had the passion and vision to permanently conserve this dynamic open space and the ecological values it contains.”

The property’s working agricultural lands provide diverse wildlife habitats – irrigated, hay-producing meadows, wet meadows with associated cottonwood stands, windswept sagebrush steppe, and grassland slopes with rimrock cliff habitats. The property is not only crucial for big game, but also for greater sage-grouse within the Wyoming Game and Fish Department designated Greater South Pass Core Area. These varied habitats benefit several of Wyoming’s Species of Greatest Conservation Need, including white-faced Ibis, burrowing owl, and golden eagle.

Red Butte Rising’s location also promotes wildlife resilience by expanding connectivity with neighboring public lands that stretch from the Wind River Mountains to Baldwin Creek. Red Butte Rising supports the migration of large game and contains Crucial Winter-Yearlong habitat for mule deer and Crucial Winter Habitat for elk. The easement also permanently protects nesting, feeding, and shelter habitat for waterfowl and other birds, as well as for small mammals.

“We are so grateful for the Red Butte Rising conservation easement conserving big game habitat and preserving long-term agricultural values,” said Madison Harper, Dubois-based conservation project manager for the Jackson Hole Land Trust. “The Wind River Program started in 2006 and has focused on conserving working lands, cultural resources, and wildlife habitat, with now more than 3,000 acres conserved in Fremont County. We are excited to expand our work in partnership with passionate landowners from the Lander community.”

This easement was generously donated by the landowner.