The 300-square-mile Pinedale Anticline in western Wyoming has been called America’s Serengeti. It’s crucial winter range for mule deer and pronghorn antelope, and is a sage grouse stronghold. But it’s got riches below ground too – the third largest natural gas reserve in the United States. Development of the gas reserve has been underway for just over a decade. And it looks like it’s taking a toll on wildlife. According to a recent report, the mule deer population has declined by 60 percent during that time.
In this episode of High Country Views, High Country News editorial intern Emilene Ostlind talks with Dr. Rollin Sparrowe to sort out what’s happening with wildlife management on the Anticline. Sparrowe spent 22 years as a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and now sits on the board of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, a sportsmen's group that has filed a lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management for failing to protect wildlife on the Anticline. He lives in Daniel, Wyoming, less than 10 miles west of the Pinedale Anticline.