Red Desert to Hoback Migration Corridor

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Red Desert to Hoback Migration Corridor

Date: 05/22/2024     State: WY     Issues: Oil and Gas, Wild Lands, Wildlife     Partners: Wyoming Game & Fish Department, Wyoming Wildlife Federation Airport Origin : Pinedale, WY    


To increase public official and stakeholder support for reducing impediments to migration along the critical Red Desert to Hoback migration corridor and protect Wyoming's wildlife.

Contiguous landscapes and healthy habitat are critical for mule deer populations to survive and thrive. We flew the Red Desert to Hoback mule deer migration corridor, famous for being part of the longest-documented mule deer migration in the world. The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission designated this migration corridor in 2016; it was one of the first to receive this protection, and remains fairly intact and pristine with only 134 existing wells. Mule deer follow this 160-mile corridor from the Red Desert area north of I-80 and just northeast of Rock Springs through the Leucite Hills, where three stopover areas exist. The deer continue to North Table Mountain and into the Steamboat Mountain area. The deer move through the Jack Morrow Hills and Pacific Creek, over the South Pass Historic Landscape and eventually cross Highway 28 and enter the Big Sandy area.

Pronghorn, moose, and elk also utilize the Red Desert to Hoback Migration Corridor. The high alpine summer range of this migration provides incredible big game hunting opportunities via horseback and backpacking.

With increasing pressures from energy and urban development, habitat is fragmented by roads, well pads, fences and other development. These barriers threaten the migration routes that ungulates have followed for millenia. Well pads can have a significant impacts on deer numbers, and can disturb migration and foraging behaviors.

Our partners at Wyoming Wildlife Federation, a group that represents thousands of hunters and anglers in Wyoming, are working to further preserve the integrity of the Hoback to Red Desert Migration Corridor and reduce impediments to migration.

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