Bridger Teton National Forest: Dogs on Leashes Make Everything Better
Written by andrew-rossi on February 25, 2020
Are you and your dog being good stewards of Wyoming’s wildlife in winter?
Bridger – Teton National Forest has sent out a reminder for all Wyomingites to observe winter wildlife closures within all national forests. This is the most stressful time of year for wildlife, especially since most female deer, elk, and moose have to deal with pregnancy on top of the deep snow, scarce food, and extreme cold. They need to conserve their energy even more for their survival and that of their unborn calves and fawns.
So, what is Bridger Tetons’ greatest concern? Dogs. Despite warnings and signs, many people allow their dogs to roam in the winter woods unleashed. This is a particularly stressful encounter for Wyoming wildlife, as dogs can be seen as very similar to certain predators. Monitoring winter closures and dog leash requirements shows that these restrictions are making a difference in survival. Doing the right thing has made trails cleaner, reduced conflicts between dogs, and helped protect the wildlife.
The moral of this story? Keep your dogs on a leash if you’re exploring the forest. And if you do encounter any deer, elk, or moose, give them a wide berth and head in the opposite direction if you can, or simply go back the way you came.