The Teton Bighorn Sheep Working Group has solidified plans for a community collaborative process to begin this winter to work on our challenge of balancing bighorn sheep winter habitat needs with backcountry recreation. Teton Backcountry Alliance supports this collaborative process and intends to participate and assist the effort financially as much as we can.
The plan is to have a series of four community workshops that build on one another to develop community-based recommendations for this issue. Dr. Jessica Western from the University of Wyoming will lead and facilitate this process. Here are the dates and general topics for each workshop. All workshops will be held at Snow King Resort in the Grand Teton Ballroom.
For more information about TBCA’s work on the sheep issue, please click
- Share expert knowledge related to Teton bighorn sheep (from biologists) and winter backcountry recreationists. Provide the community with the context and background they need to fully engage on this issue.
- Small break-out groups will discuss and record community interests, concerns, thoughts, values, and information related to this issue. Capture all thoughts and make sure everyone is heard.
- Share additional expert knowledge about specific biological concerns with Teton bighorn sheep (biologists provide more details on the science) and hear experts from recreation community share their perspectives (specific topics and speakers yet to be determined).
- Small break-out groups will brainstorm conceptual solutions to this issue. What can we do? Creative ideas? (Examples: better information and awareness, code of ethics and best practices, technological ideas, apps, closures, designated travel routes, etc.)
Thursday, March 5th, 6-9 pm: “Geographical solutions”
- Small break-out groups dig into specific geographical solutions where bighorn sheep habitat and recreation overlap. Large maps will be available. Discuss potential solutions and compromises in detail for specific areas. Aim to develop specific community suggestions and proposals, where possible.
Thursday, April 9th, 6-9 pm: “What can the agencies pursue? Report back to the community”
- Between March 5 and April 9, the Teton Bighorn Sheep Working Group will take the community’s suggestions back to the government agencies and discuss what can or cannot be pursued. Provide a response to each suggestion.
- At the April 9th meeting, the Teton Bighorn Sheep Working Group will report back to the community on which suggestions can be pursued and why. Ask for feedback. (No formal decisions have been made at this point. Agencies would initiate a NEPA process for decisions to be made.)