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Project November 27, 2023

As Path of Pronghorn Faces Uncertain Future, Wildlife Advocates Push Legal Protections for Migratory Corridors


A group of pronghorn gallop through fields of lupine in Grand Teton National Park near Jackson, Wyoming. Image by Adam Goldstein. United States, 2023.

To many, Wyoming represents one of the last bastions of Western frontier in the United States. The Cowboy State is home to Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks, alongside a robust mineral extraction industry and growing urban sprawl. And amid a contentious history over the uses of the state's public lands, concerns are growing over one of the nation's natural wonders in Sublette County.

The Path of the Pronghorn is a 6,000-year-old, 150-plus-mile migration path that connects Grand Teton National Park to the Upper Green River Basin. The route is used by roughly 400-plus pronghorn that spend summers in the park, before overwintering in the Upper Green River Valley. It is one of the longest big-game migratory corridors in the lower 48 states, and one of the most studied, with 20-plus years of GPS data. It is also the only federally-designated migration corridor in the country.

Yet the corridor is facing significant threats from development on its key winter range and in the corridor itself. The Bureau of Land Management and the State of Wyoming have issued numerous mineral and energy leases that obstruct the Sublette herd's migration corridors, including the Path of the Pronghorn. These corridors are key to maintaining large herds of big game, and maintaining the natural character of Wyoming. 

With state-level actors stalling on protecting these corridors, wildlife advocates are seeking new legal solutions to protect them before they are all lost. 


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Environment and Climate Change

Environment and Climate Change