EcoFlight flew over the Sand Creek Desert to create a virtual tour. The tour will be used in online advocacy events to promote the protection of this incredibly unique and diverse landscape, less than 60 miles west of Yellowstone National Park, and unlike anywhere else in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
The Sand Creek Desert area provides winter refuge for migratory deer, elk, and moose that travel from their high-elevation summer ranges in and around Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park. This area includes 11,000 acres of ancient sand dunes, coniferous forests, wetlands, and sagebrush steppe. Together, these habitats provide food and cover for the many migratory deer, elk, and moose that rely on this area to survive the GYE’s harsh winter months.
Some of the greatest threats to the integrity of this important landscape are habitat fragmentation due to the patchwork of land ownership/management, more frequent fires, and increasing motorized recreation. Our partners at Greater Yellowstone Coalition are working with conservation and sportsman organizations, agencies, and private landholders to plan and implement projects that provide for a working landscape, protect this place from large-scale fire, and protect important wildlife habitat including essential migration routes and winter range for Yellowstone’s iconic wildlife.