The National Park Service is seeking public input to help shape the bighorn sheep winter habitat protection environmental assessment. Comments are due by June 20.
Grand Teton National Park is developing an environmental assessment to consider implementing additional management strategies to protect bighorn sheep winter habitat within the park. They are requesting public input on strategy components.
The highly anticipated scoping notice for the Bighorn Sheep Winter Habitat Protection Plan was published on April 20 and will remain open until June 20. The purpose of this planning effort is to improve the Teton bighorn sheep population’s chances for long-term survival by protecting and, where feasible, restoring its winter habitat in Grand Teton National Park.
The collaborative Bighorn Sheep Working Group process took place over the last several years and resulted in the Teton Range Bighorn Sheep and Winter Recreation Strategy. Interestingly, the Park Service is approaching this “Proposed Action” in a similar collaborative fashion. Typically, for a habitat protection or management plan, the Park Service will present a specific plan and ask for public comment in reaction to that plan. For the Bighorn Sheep Winter Habitat Protection Plan they instead want to hear your ideas for what kind of alternative management strategies should be considered and what the final plan should include.
As stated in the scoping notice, the Park Service is specifically requesting input on three areas
- Public education and outreach
- Research and monitoring of the bighorn sheep population and recreation trends
- Habitat management, including new or expanded winter closure areas and designated travel routes.
Now is the time to add your comments and help shape the new plan. Comments must be submitted by June 20, 2022. To learn how to submit, visit the Park’s project webpage here.