The United States Department of Agriculture will invest $225 million dollars in conservation projects across the country, including two in northeastern Wyoming that will continue efforts in forest health and enhancing sage-grouse environments.
Jennifer Hinkhouse is the District Manager of the Campbell County Conservation District. She said $1.28 million dollars will be used to continue efforts with the Northeast Wyoming Forest Resiliency Project, which covers ground in Campbell, Crook, and Weston Counties. In the past, the project has funded wildfire prevention and better forage production for livestock and wildlife.
Recently, Hinkhouse said the mountain pine beetle epidemic and drought conditions have negatively impacted the landscape.
“We’ve really seen a decline in the health of our forests,” said Hinkhouse. “And that’s resulted in a whole slew of problems, everything from increased wildfire, to decreased quality of our timber products.”
An additional $200,000 dollars will be used to enhance sage-grouse habitat by restoring sagebrush and removing cheatgrass, an invasive species.