Region 4 – RMRS Science Partner Videos! 

Intermountain Region Program Specialists partner with Rocky Mountain Research Station to enhance collaboration opportunities between researchers and managers. Click the video to view the 6-part playlist that shows how the partnership is beneficial to both organizations.

Forest Service Partners with Sportsmen's Groups to Restore Sagebrush in John's Valley

A tractor driving through a field In what some people might view as an unlikely partnership, the Forest Service teamed up with the Utah Watershed Restoration Initiative (UWRI) to restore sagebrush habitat on the Dixie National Forest. The project, which is located at John’s Valley in Garfield County, will benefit greater sage-grouse as well as elk, mule deer, and other species.

What may be surprising about this partnership to enhance wildlife habitat is that most of the funding originated with sportsmen’s groups that support hunting and fishing. The UWRI is a program that improves high priority watersheds throughout Utah. Continue reading here.

Envirothon 2017

Group of youth holding a banner that says, science-natural resources program One of the Sky View High School (Cache County) Envirothon teams (photo to left) took overall honors on April 20 at the Utah Envirothon held in Richfield, UT.  The team prepared both in and out of school hours with their advisor, Dave Erickson. They studied and met with professionals to expand their knowledge of the four main natural resource study areas – Aquatics Ecology, Forestry, Soils and Land Use, and Wildlife.  On the international level, Maryland chose the current environmental issue, Agricultural Soil and Water Conservation Stewardship. Each state is then allowed to write their own unique issue that is tailored to their state. This year’s current issue was written by Danny McBride, Forest Service Partnership Coordinator and former NRCS employee. Each of the 22 teams attending the Utah event gave a 15-minute presentation to a panel of judges with their solutions to the scenario given them concerning the current issue. Continue reading here.

Partners Come Together for Improving Fish Passage and Habitat

Photo of three men near a creek looking at a culvert. Photo courtesy of Darin Martens, Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming Department of Transportation Liaison.

Non-governmental organizations and agencies gathered to investigate and discuss fish passage structures at Game Creek, near Jackson, Wyoming. Wyoming Department of Transportation is planning to replace two existing structures, that have not allowed fish passage for over 40 years, with a single 207 foot long baffled box. The project will allow new access to 5 miles of spawning and rearing habitat for Snake River Cutthroat trout. The box and channel work takes place on Forest Service land, Wyoming Department of Transportation right-of-way, and Wyoming Game & Fish lands.

In true collaborative form this project has become a reality. Trout Unlimited plans to provide channel design information for the Creek's entry to and from the new box. Teton Conservation District is calculating and modeling flow rates currently, so that the baffles are designed correctly. Greater Yellowstone Coalition is engaged locally and had their waters program coordinator come down from Bozeman for design input and to ramp-up the education component of the process. Wyoming Game & Fish brought the shocker and is formulating the fisheries & Brook trout/Cutthroat management plan with the group. Last, a Forest Service Fisheries Biologist out of Pinedale and Darin Martens, Forest Service-Wyoming Department of Transportation Liaison rounded out the team. Construction is planned for 2017.

Weber Pathways Connecting 26 Miles of Continuous Trails

Photo of a trail on a mountain side overlooking the city.  Photo courtsy of Lisa Thompson, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest

Weber Pathways is a long standing partner with the Ogden Ranger District.  Weber Pathways along with the Ogden Ranger District trails crew and other volunteers completed the construction of the Bonneville Shoreline trail, North Connector trail.  With the completion of this section, there are 26 miles of continuous trail connecting four communities (Pleasant View, North Ogden, Ogden, and South Ogden). This 26 miles of continuous trail is the longest section of multi –use, hikers, bikers, and equestrians, in Utah.

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort 50th Anniversary

Photo of the Its All Yours education booth.The Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has operated on the Bridger-Teton National Forest in northwestern Wyoming near Jackson, for 50 years. To mark this celebration, the resort planned a large event on December 19, 2015 replete with the opening of the new Teton Lift and a fireworks celebration. The Forest Service's purpose at the event was to educate the public that there is a National Forest in the valley (not just a Park) and the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is 100% on the Forest. 

Forest employees were out there in uniform to have fun with the public, which resulted in over 1000 visitor encounters. Smokey Bear skied around the resort with visitors and had several photo ops throughout the day. Education stations were located at different places on the mountain. These stations included watershed, fire, history, snow safety, and wildlife. They were focused on drawing youth to participate in five forest-issue based education challenges with prizes and games and ended with attainment of a “Junior Snow Ranger” swearing in ceremony, which 200 youth participated in. The activities and challenges were designed so the kids didn’t notice they were learning, and they couldn’t wait to go to the next station. Adult topics and material were also distributed at the stations.

The Salmon-Challis National Forest and Idaho AmeriCorps

The 2015 season marked the seventh year of operation for the Student Conservation Association (SCA) Idaho AmeriCorps program based on the Salmon-Challis National Forest. 

  1. Designed as a leadership development program
  2. Foster environmental stewardship through sustainable living and connection to the natural world. 

This season, a team of 20 AmeriCorps interns and three staff members completed projects in forestry, wild land fire/fuels, recreation, trails, wildlife/fisheries management, range management, invasive species, and GPS/Trimble data collection and analysis.  This year marked the first time the Idaho AmeriCorps program sent members to other partners outside of the Salmon-Challis National Forest. 

These partners include:

  • Nez Perce National Forest,
  • Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument,
  • City of Rocks National Reserve,
  • Idaho BLM (Challis and Boise offices) and
  • Idaho Fish and Game.

The SCA Idaho AmeriCorps program provides an invaluable service to both the local communities and our agency partners by supporting the local economy, creating a positive community of young adults, and getting boots on the ground for priority conservation projects that would not be accomplished otherwise. 

Photo of the partial trail that has grown in grasses.Before
Photo taken of a trail after it was cleaned from grasses and debris.After