By Published On: August 15, 2022

Wetlands & Relationship Building: Wyoming SCP Holds Summer Field Tour

The Wild Red Wetland enhancement project on the Cottonwood Creek Ranch provides habitat for trumpeter swans—as well as multiple other species of wildlife.

It’s no secret that conservation happens best when people get together and get their boots dirty. Following this principle, members of Wyoming’s State Conservation Partnership (SCP) braved a few mosquitos to get out in the field, examine a few wetland projects, and have some good, old-fashioned face-to-face conversation in early July.

Members of the Wyoming SCP look at a Beaver Dam Analog (BDA) installed on the Bar Cross Ranch.

“We decided it might be fun to actually go and see some of these projects instead of looking at pictures of them on a PowerPoint in a conference room somewhere like we usually do,” said SCP Co-Chair Brian Jensen, who organized the event with SCP Co-Chair Ian Tator.

Partners new and old converged in Pinedale on July 6 and 7 for a two-day field tour focusing on wetlands and wet meadow habitat. On day one, the group checked out two private-land wetland enhancement projects that aimed to create better habitat for breeding trumpeter swans and, in the process, provided habitat for multiple species of waterbirds as well as other wildlife (pronghorn abounded and the group spooked a moose out of one of the sites). The following day, the group looked at the impressive first-year results of a Beaver Dam Analog (BDA) and Zeedyk project installed on the Bar Cross Ranch in 2021. The SCP wrapped the tour up at the Wyoming Department of Game and Fish-managed Soda Lake Wetlands, where they discussed the area’s past and future management.

Many of the projects were collaborations among multiple groups present at the event, or project work overlapped with other conservation work being done by another group. Coming together at the project sites gave partners a way to debrief projects, discuss conservation goals and obstacles, and celebrate work well done. Post-event survey responses affirmed that the trip was an “opportunity to visit colleagues and see projects” and good for “in-person conversations and getting to know people better,” as well as “actually seeing and discussing different types of projects and what goes into pulling them off.”

The Intermountain West Joint Venture extends congratulations to the Wyoming SCP for an event well organized and much needed. We hope that it is the first of many such gatherings!

The group checks out the Dunham Wetland enhancement project.