The Western Hunting and Conservation Expo was a great show and gathering spot for a multitude of Mule Deer Foundation (MDF) members.
When the counting is over, the result will be that a great deal of money was raised for conservation – millions.
Many exhibitors went home happy with their decision to attend. The wait-list for booth space will continue to grow.
And, mule deer conservation received support from the Trump administration. Here’s a quote from the MDF news release:
Secretarial Order 3362 was signed today by Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke at the Western Hunting & Conservation Expo, the annual convention of the Mule Deer Foundation. The order outlines the Department’s intent 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.
Corridors and migration routes are a critical element of mule deer habitat. Improvement of forage and cover is important.
Where migration routes are blocked, deer herds dwindle. Some of California’s largest herds have been decimated by segmented range where freeways have made migration nearly impossible.
The best example of a severed migration route that I can think of is Interstate 80 between Truckee and Reno. On many other highways automobile collisions take a huge toll on mule and black-tailed deer – not to mention autos and their drivers. Highway 395 between Reno and Susanville is a good example.
Hopefully, this order will allow wildlife supporters to get out in front of any new efforts to bisect habitat. The best (and safest) time to do that is before a road is built.