Removing Junipers Benefits Wyoming Wildlife Habitat

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More isn’t always better, especially when it comes to more and larger juniper trees on the landscape of southern Wyoming. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation teamed up with the Bureau of Land Management to remove encroaching junipers. Doing so rejuvenates sagebrush and other native vegetation which benefits sage grouse, mule deer and even domestic livestock.

“These are the kinds of projects the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation enjoys funding,” Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer for RMEF, told the Montana Standard. “Juniper invasion is a significant problem in several intermountain states so we are using funds from our local banquet program to fund these habitat improvement projects. It’s a great partnership with BLM and others.”

According to the article, a mature juniper tree can suck 40 gallons of water from the soil on a warm summer day. That’s significant when you consider, this particular area receives barely over a foot of water year-round.

This project began in 2014 and treated 1,300 acres so far. The goal is to eventually treat more than 12,000 acres.

(Photo source: Bureau of Land Management)