Now, imagine that at one point along this journey these mule deer are funneled into a 400 meter wide passage. This happens twice every year at the Fremont Lake Bottleneck in Sublette County, Wyoming. To make matters worse, a key 364-acre parcel in this bottleneck went on the open real estate market last year, with the expectation that it would be subdivided into residential housing lots, which would cut off this crucial migration pathway.

Our Role

The Conservation Fund acquired the property on April 17, 2015, which takes it off the open market and helps secure a conservation future for the lands. Without this protection, a private buyer could have subdivided this key wildlife haven for adverse residential development. In addition to the acquisition, the Fund has raised funds for fence modification, habitat enhancement and long-term management of the property. 

Why This Project Matters

Researchers at the University of Wyoming identified the Fremont Lake Bottleneck as the most threatened lynch pin in this internationally significant wildlife phenomena. The property we aim to protect is wedged between Fremont Lake to the north and the growing town of Pinedale, Wyoming, to the south, forcing the entire migratory population (4,000 – 5,000 mule deer) to negotiate a narrow 400 meter wide corridor. Residential development of this critical area would severely diminish, if not entirely eliminate, this essential pathway.



“Every effort must be made to ensure that these migratory bottlenecks are maintained, while using a voluntary approach that reflects property rights of landowners. Your [TCF] effort to acquire the property off the open market from a willing seller fits the voluntary approach that we support.”
—Sublette County, Wyoming Board of Commissioners


Wyoming Landscapes




Learn More

National Geographic video: "A Deer Migration You Have to See to Believe"
Blog post: "Saving the Red Desert to Hoback Mule Deer Migration
In The News: "Mule deer unbottled by Lynch habitat gift"
In The News: "UW Science Inspires Mule Deer Conservation at Fremont Lake"