5th year of South Pass aspen enhancement project begins

Wyoming Game and Fish

Wyoming Game & Fish Department release: 

Aspen restoration and hazardous fuels reduction work has begun in the Iron Mountain area of South Pass. This is a part of a ten-year project that started in 2015 with a primary focus of restoring aspen stands.

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Treatment to improve aspen habitats for deer, elk, moose, ruffed grouse and other wildlife has included the removal of encroaching conifers from aspen stands.  Conifers are less efficient water users than aspen and will ultimately cause aspen communities to dry out and die off.  By removing the encroaching conifers, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department in partnership with other land managers including the Shoshone National Forest, Bureau of Land Management and Wyoming State Forestry hope to stimulate aspen communities, improve understory vegetation, and create natural fire breaks across South Pass.

Work this year will include areas of Iron Mountain, the southern Loop Road, and Mill Creek. Previous year’s treatments have shown a flush in aspen sprouts and increases in the diversity of forbs and lush grasses mule deer use early in the spring to help nourish lactating does and increase fawn survival.

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