Campbell County Conservation District  (CD) is partnering with the Wyoming State Forestry Division and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to address two key issues: thinning forests to make stands more resilient to insects and diseases, such as the mountain pine beetle, and reducing fuel loads to restrict wildfire damage and improve wildlife habitat.

“When we collaborate, we’re able to manage these larger landscapes so when a fire comes through – when it gets to the area with less ladder fuel – it will lay down and will be closer to the ground,” Campbell County Conservation District Manager  Jennifer Hinkhouse said .

In 2015, the conservation district began talking with Wyoming State Forestry Division, Wyoming Game and Fish and the BLM about projects the district was working on to explore partnership opportunities. Campbell County CD received funding through a state appropriation administered by the State Forestry Division to conduct management in beetle infested areas or in areas that had a high potential for infestation.

“Most people forget about the forests in Campbell County since they are about an hour drive from town,”  Hinkhouse said . “Many of the forests have not received any thinning or harvest in the past 30 years and were in need of management. With the help of state funding and assistance of partners, we were able to put forest conservation on the ground.”