Ungulate Pathways of the West: Examining Conservation Challenges & Opportunities for Ungulate Migrations (2009)

Project Location : 
Pinedale, Wyoming
Summary of Project Idea: 

Migratory ungulates have shaped the American landscape for thousands of years.  Increased human development has stopped or shorted many of these migrations.  The master's project team examined the current conservation efforts aimed at long-distance ungulate migration corridors in the Western U.S. by focusing on three case studies:

  • Grand Teton National Park Pronghorn: Upper Green River Basin, WY;
  • Clarks Fork and Cody Elk, Absaroka Divide, WY; and
  • Round Valley Mule Deer, Sierra Nevada, CA.


The team assessed the management, policy, and communication strategies used in these case studies to inform the decision-making and conservation efforts of individuals, organizations, and land managers working on over-land migration corridors.  The team produced a comprehensive project report as well as condensed scientific and policy pieces targeted to specific audience needs.

Skills/Expertise Needed: 
  • Terrestrial ecosystems
  • Environmental policy and planning
  • Negotiation
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Good judgment
  • Real estate law

SNRE Program Areas: 
Conservation Ecology (Aquatic Sciences, Terrestrial Ecosystems, and Conservation Biology)
Environmental Policy and Planning
Behavior, Education, and Communication
Professional Career Development Benefits: 

Skills, knowledge and contacts necessary to address complex, multi-jurisdictional natural resource issues in the Rocky Mountain West. Also, land use issues, particularly the use of conservation easements.

Identify expected products/deliverables: 

Report/case study drawing on project documents and records for possible presentation to various audiences.

SNRE Faculty Advisor: 
Steve Yaffee and Julia Wondolleck
Master Students Involved in Project: 
  • Diane Sherman, JD/MS Environmental Policy and Planning           
  • Erika Hasle, MS Terrestrial Ecosystems                       
  • Jose G Gonzalez, MS Behavior, Education, and Communication            
  • Andrew Fotinos, MS Environmental Policy and Planning   
  • Elizabeth Nysson, MS Environmental Policy and Planning
  • Greg Sampson, JD/MS Conservation Biology
Project Status: 
Past Project