WWNRT RECEIVES $200,000 FOR WILDLIFE CROSSINGS
Wednesday, 19 August 2020
The Greater Yellowstone Coalition (GYC) recently donated $200,000 to the Dry Piney wildlife crossing project north of La Barge in southwest Wyoming. The funds were directed through the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust (WWNRT), allowing the WWNRT to match the funds through an opportunity created by the Wyoming Legislature in 2018.
“Thanks to this donation and a previous contribution by GYC to wildlife crossings projects in western Wyoming, we were able to match $300,000 back into the corpus of the Trust for wildlife projects in Wyoming in addition to contributing directly to the Dry Piney project,” said Bob Budd, Director of the WWNRT.
The money the Greater Yellowstone Coalition donated will be used for the Dry Piney wildlife crossing project. The project calls for installing underpasses, fencing and related improvements along a 17-mile stretch of US 189 between La Barge and Big Piney.
Legislative matching funds were authorized to create an incentive for non-state entities to contribute to conservation in Wyoming, and over the past 15 years, have generated nearly $3 million into the corpus of the Trust Account. According to Budd, those funds generate as much as $1.5 million annually to fund river restoration work, wetland creation, wildlife habitat enhancements and other major projects throughout the state, in addition to the current focus on wildlife migration routes and highway safety.
“Not only is this project saving thousands of deer over its lifetime in the struggling Wyoming range herd, it’s also going to keep families safe on this stretch of road,” said Chris Colligan, GYC Wildlife Program Coordinator. “GYC is pleased to support this project by helping to secure local match dollars that leverage state and federal funds. We thank our generous donors at the Knobloch Family Foundation and The Volgenau Foundation for supporting this work.”
The Dry Piney project will help the Wyoming Range mule deer herd as well as pronghorn and moose movement. Dry Piney is one area that Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT), the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) and other stakeholders have identified as needing mitigation work to reduce crashes.
Wyoming Game and Fish Department Director Brian Nesvik said “We would like to thank the Trust for furthering the funding opportunities for the Dry Piney Project and continuing to build on the momentum Wyoming has for wildlife crossings.”
Additionally, WYDOT received a $14.5 million Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant for the Dry Piney wildlife crossing project in 2019. The Wyoming Transportation Commission and the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission also both contributed $1.25 million for a total of $2.5 million for Dry Piney.
"Donations for efforts like Dry Piney will ensure we can move forward with these important projects so we can continue our mission of reducing crashes and improving highway safety for all," WYDOT Director K. Luke Reiner said. "We are thankful to the Greater Yellowstone Coalition for making this generous donation. Dry Piney and other wildlife crossings projects will help mitigate crashes in our state. This work is vital to help keep natural migratory routes intact while also keeping traffic flowing in a safe manner."
For additional information about Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resources Trust, contact Bob Budd, Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org, (307) 777-8024
For additional information about the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, contact Chris Colligan, Wildlife Program Coordinator at email@example.com or at (307) 734-0633.
Check out our new WWNRT Informational Video!
Wyoming is a vast landscape, mysterious, and unique. From jagged peaks rising above verdant valleys, to steamy vapors shared between river and sky, no two places are the same. Wyoming is a place where grasslands give way to sagebrush oceans, where mountains continue to rise, and wildlife thrive. This land is home to some of the greatest herds of large animals - bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, mule deer - and one of the richest assemblages of species in North America. Wyoming is a landscape rich in human heritage, a place where hope rides the range as regularly as the cowboy.
To maintain this legacy, The Wyoming Legislature created the Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust in 2005. Funded by interest earned on a permanent account, donations and legislative appropriation, the purpose of the program is to enhance and conserve wildlife habitat and natural resource values throughout the state. Any project designed to improve wildlife habitat or natural resource values is eligible for funding.
The Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust is an independent state agency governed by a nine-member citizen board appointed by the Governor. Legislative oversight is guided by a select committee of six members, three each from the House and Senate The office located in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
The application form is under the "How to Apply" link or the "Project Application Form"link.
Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource TrustHathaway Building, 1st Floor2300 Capitol Avenue, Ste 161DCheyenne, WY 82002307-777-8024
Beginning with the first allocation of project dollars in June 2006, the WWNRT has evaluated approximately 1,200 applications (nearly 90 per year) and funded more than 750 projects in all 23 counties of the state. Nearly $99 million has been allocated from WWNRT funds, with a total project value on the ground in excess of $637 million. Every dollar spent by the WWNRT is matched on average with $6.00 from other sources, and WWNRT projects maintain agricultural operations, conservation businesses, and other job-producing enterprises, including the tourism industry. More than 120 separate entities have received funding from the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust program. The greatest number of projects funded have been sponsored by conservation districts, programs that are guided by local people.
According to former Board Chairman Delaine Roberts, "What we do is pretty simple. We help people do the right things for their own communities. We build the future of Wyoming - one little town, one little creek at a time. We let people dream, and in Wyoming, big dreams make things happen."
Please click 2018 Annual Status Report to view the most recent version of the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust's annual report.