Greater Yellowstone, MT/WY/ID

Type: Research

A design research project that investigates places where built environment meets wildlife corridors within one the largest nearly intact temperate ecosystems remaining in the world. 

Scientists revealed movement of animals across vast landscapes of Greater Yellowstone as well as current and potential barriers to this movement. In some places  measures are being taken to facilitate the movement and overcome the barriers. This project sets out to understand and visualize how built environment  wildlife encounters along the way, be it obstructive, conducive or neutral, looks like, feels like and functions.

Pinedale, WY

Mule deer and pronghorn migration corridor passes through a natural bottleneck, refered to as Trapper’s Point, near Pinedale, WY  (interpreted from Kauffman, Wild Migrations, 129).
A wildlife crossing was constructed at Trapper’s Point to facilitate wildlife’s movement across a highway dissecting the already narrow passage.
The construction of gas wells near Pinedale resulted in some direct habitat loss, but a much larger area, while seemingly preserved, is avoided by mule deer. (Kauffman, Wild Migrations, 77)

Henry’s Lake

This partially preserved, and partially developed area around Henry’s Lake in Island Park, ID provides a linkage between grizzly bear habitat on National Forest lands.  (Schwartz et al. , Impacts of Rural Development on Yellowstone Wildlife. )  
Distribution of the Yellowstone grizzly bear, 2000-2014. (interpreted from Peck et al. , Potential Paths for Male-mediated Gene Flow to and from an Isolated Grizzly Bear Population. )
Once established in the 1990s, Flat Ranch Preserve protected this land from future development.
Today Flat Ranch Preserve is visited by wildlife, is accessible to the public and provides grazing for cattle.

Madison Valley  

Potential male movement between two populations of grizzly bears pass through a variety of built environment typologies. 
(Adopted from Peck et al., “Potential Paths for Male-Mediated Gene Flow to and from an Isolated Grizzly Bear Population.”)
While some lands are protected with conservation easements, others are converted into residential subdivisions.
Tobacco Root Mountains may provide an important link for grizzly bear movement between distinct populations of grizzly bears.


Kauffman, Matthew J., ed. Wild Migrations: Atlas of Wyoming’s Ungulates. Corvallis: Oregon State University Press, 2018.
Peck, Christopher P., Frank T. van Manen, Cecily M. Costello, Mark A. Haroldson, Lisa A. Landenburger, Lori L. Roberts, Daniel D. Bjornlie, and Richard D. Mace. “Potential Paths for Male-Mediated Gene Flow to and from an Isolated Grizzly Bear Population.” Ecosphere 8, no. 10 (October 2017): e01969.
Schwartz, Charles C., Patricia H. Gude, Lisa Landenburger, Mark A. Haroldson, and Shannon Podruzny. “Impacts of Rural Development on Yellowstone Wildlife: Linking Grizzly Bear Ursus Arctos Demographics with Projected Residential Growth.” Wildlife Biology 18, no. 3 (September 2012): 246–57.