Wildlife, Fish & Rare Plants

  Big Horn sheep sititng on grass Greenback Cutthroat Trout swimming Eriophorum gracile on trail Bird-Wilsons Warbler

The National Forests and Grasslands in the Rocky Mountain Region provide a great diversity of terrestrial and aquatic habitats, including alpine tundra, extensive conifer and aspen forests, sagebrush and other shrublands, short-grass to tall-grass prairies, lakes, streams and wetlands.  Straddling the Continental Divide, the Region includes the headwaters of the Arkansas, Missouri, Rio Grande, and Colorado River systems.

The diverse habitats found in the Region harbor an abundance of wildlife, fish and rare plant resources. For example, the Region supports the largest herds of elk and bighorn sheep in the nation, the greatest variety of native cutthroat trout, and the only black-footed ferret population inhabiting a national grassland.

 Wildlife, fish and rare plant resources contribute significantly to local economies in the Rocky Mountain Region. Habitat enhancement projects, NatureWatch programs, and efforts to recover and conserve threatened, endangered and sensitive species enrich the recreational experiences of visitors to the National Forests and Grasslands. Many of these programs are possible only through the generous participation of our partners.