Greys River logging leads to cutthroat connectivity

Jackson Hole News and Guide

Patrick Barry first heard from friends in the Bridger-Teton National Forest’s timber shop that a Greys River drainage logging project was in the works that might overlap with some high-elevation cutthroat trout habitat.

The fisheries biologist made the trek to the headwater region called the “Tribasin” where the timber sale was slated to see what was where. He saw culverts running under the rough roads at stream crossings, creating a barrier to the native fine-spotted cutthroat trout he expected to electroshock and see in streams like Mink Creek, Clear Creek and the West Fork Greys River. Water running under the roads was simply too fast or too shallow.

“Some had no fish, some just had just a few fish,” Barry said of the tributaries.

It was concerning, he said, to see what looked like stellar spawning and juvenile habitat — and then next to no fish.

Barry and his timber ship colleagues contemplated how to make the best of the situation. They knew that before the timber sale the Bridger-Teton was hoping to shore up some of the roads in the area to make it more attractive for a logging outfit in hopes of enticing a sale. The U.S. Forest Service also didn’t have the funding to do that, and outside help was needed.

Read more >