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Implementation of Big Game Migration and Winter Range Order

Implementation of Big Game Migration and Winter Range Order

Mule Deer Foundation Thanks DOI for Progress on Implementation of Big Game Migration and Winter Range Order

Salt Lake City, UT: The Mule Deer Foundation (DF) welcomed today’s release by the Department of the Interior (DOI) of a report documenting the tremendous progress that has been made so far on the implementation of Secretarial Order 3362. The order, signed at MDF’s Western Hunting & Conservation Expo in 2018, directed DOI staff to work closely with the 11 western states to enhance and improve the quality of big game winter range and migration corridor habitat on federal lands that the Department manages. The two-year progress report outlines the specific actions that have been taken to implement the order and actions that need to be taken to continue the momentum that has built for the issue.

“The Mule Deer Foundation appreciates the last two years of hard work and partnership with the Department of the Interior as they have implemented S.O. 3362 on big game migration corridors and seasonal habitats. The report released today gives a clear indication of the tremendous progress that has resulted from agency staff and partners focusing on this key issue – this would not have happened without the leadership from the Secretary and his staff,” said Mule Deer Foundation President/CEO Miles Moretti. “Conservation of migration corridors and seasonal habitats is essential to the health of western mule deer populations and the increased attention on these needs will make a difference for years to come. This is good for mule deer hunters, but it is also important to the long-term conservation of these icons of the West.”

Since the order was signed, MDF has been working with state fish and wildlife agencies and other conservation partners to support the implementation through on-the-ground research and habitat work. The order spurred the organization’s Migration Corridors and Winter Range Initiative, and MDF has received grants through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s Outdoor Fund to implement habitat restoration and fencing projects identified in S.O. 3362 state action plans. MDF has also hired staff to work with state agencies in Arizona and Idaho to implement migration research and facilitate habitat projects.

“Moving forward, we anticipate learning more about mule deer migration patterns from the research that has been funded through S.O. 3362 and to use that information to target MDF’s future conservation efforts,” concluded Moretti. “We also expect to see the fruits of the on-the-ground work that MDF and other partners have done for habitat very soon and pledge to keep this issue front and center.”

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