Recent guidelines aim to balance mule deer management with energy development – a good thing for sportsmen. Photo by John Webster.
Mule deer hunters from across the country have reason to applaud the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ recent approval of new guidelines for balancing mule deer management with energy development. Prepared by WAFWA's Mule Deer Working Group, the “Energy Development Guidelines for Mule Deer” are intended to help resource managers conserve mule deer populations during energy development.
“If followed, these new guidelines will play a key role in sustaining mule deer populations during energy development activities,” said Miles Moretti, president and CEO of the Mule Deer Foundation, a TRCP partner organization. “Bringing together all the stakeholders before an energy project is initiated will reduce conflicts later during the development phase.”
Based on the best available science and real world experience relating to energy development and mule deer, the guidelines are set to mitigate mule deer declines seen in recent years due to habitat loss and degradation and displacement in part to certain energy development practices. The report was authored by state biologists and reviewed by the energy industry, federal agencies and several non-governmental organizations.
In 2011, the TRCP released a report, “Mule Deer and Energy: Federal Policy and Planning in the Greater Green River Basin,” examining collaborative efforts in mule deer management between federal land agencies and state wildlife agencies. The report offers insight into federal management of the species and its habitat during public lands energy development.
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