A new non-profit dedicated to supporting the Bridger-Teton National Forest (BTNF) is beginning community outreach efforts across western Wyoming and seeking input from local Forest users and partners. Friends of the Bridger-Teton works to enhance access, watershed health and wildlife habitat through on-the-ground stewardship projects. The group is hosting community forums in towns across the Forest to learn more about local needs, insights and opportunities for partnership.
A community forum will be hosted on Monday, Feb. 11, at 5:00 p.m. at Diamondville Town Hall.
The National Forest (BTNF) has identified a list of potential projects needed on each Ranger District and the Friends group hopes to identify overlap between agency need and community support. So far meetings are planned in Kemmerer-Diamondville on February 11, Big Piney on February 12 and Pinedale on February 13. The Bridger-Teton National Forest is 3.4 million acres, crosses five Wyoming counties and spans the Wind River, Wyoming, Salt River and Gros Ventre mountain ranges.
The new startup may be the first of its kind, or the first “friends group” dedicated to an entire National Forest. There are more than 200 non-profit organizations dedicated to supporting individual National Parks but National Forests lack similar support systems. The organization’s director, Sarah Walker, says that the Bridger-Teton is deserving of similar support and hopes the stewardship effort is driven by the local communities most connected to the Forest.