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The Pinedale Anticline

Pinedale AnticlineThe western half of Wyoming has one of the richest deposits of natural gas ever to be found. Between gas companies competing for drilling contracts and the need/desire to grow the number of gas wells, and the need for housing for the workers, wildlife migration routes are a concern.

This area also happens to be part of the migration route for not only pronghorn, but a number of species, that travel between Yellowstone National Park, the Green River Valley, and beyond. It is one of the longest known migration routes. other than migration routes of caribou further north in Alaska and Canada.

In June of 2008 an easment was created by the US Forest Service for the migration route. Several hunting and conservations groups have combined efforts to preserve a corridor 45 miles long, by only one mile wide, which lies on Forest Service land. The remaining 30 miles is located on private lands, and areas maintained by the Bureau of Land Management. Inside of these boundaries, they hope to create a zone that is free from development of housing or commercial building and development and gas well development. It is hoped that the designation becomes permanent.

The migration route has been studied by the Wildlife Conservation Service, in cooperation with Ultra Resources, Shell Exploration & Production, and Questar Market Resources. The study has found that the oil fields haven't really effected the pronghorn migration, or feeding areas, with the possible exception that the pronghorn are tending to travel closer to the New Fork River. They are also avoiding the more heavily commercialized areas.



As Natural Gas Fields Grow, Pronghorn Habitat Shrinks - May 3, 2012

Path of the Pronghorn Leading to New Passages - November 2, 2011

The Wild West: A Pronghorn's Incredible Journey - September 22, 2010

Antelope free to roam - By Jeff Gearino, Casper Star-Tribune, Posted: Wednesday, February 3, 2010

New Long Distance Migration Route for Pronghorn Found in Idaho by WCS and Lava Lake Institute - October 29, 2009

Protecting the Pronghorn Path - June 18, 2008


For more information on the Pinedale Anticline, see:

Upper Green River Alliance

Wyoming Wildlife Federation



A sizeable herd of pronghorns under the shadow of Elk Mountain,
near Saratoga, Wyoming.
Photo by Adriene Wheeler