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the red desert wyoming

Privacy Statement The Lincoln Highway's coast-to-coast route also cut across the Red Desert as it passed through Wyoming. The Red Desert is a high altitude desert and sagebrush steppe located in south central Wyoming, comprising approximately 9,320 square miles (24,100 square kilometers). The Killpecker Sand Dunes stretch across more than 100,000 acres of the Wyoming Red Desert. And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now: Kim Magaraci graduated Rutgers University with a degree in Geography and has spent the last seven years as a freelance travel writer. He writes that rock art of the times, especially along the Green River, sprang from a melding of Indian cultures represented by imagery of the Plains Indian warrior tradition. Learn. Lake Gosiute began to fill the Red Desert for the first time in the early Eocene Epoch. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) oversees much of the arid Red Desert. *Mobile Terms & Conditions At first glance the Red Desert's largely dry, barren landscape seems an unlikely location for some 350 wildlife species and more than 1,000 plant species. The environmental impact of an estimated 350,000 pioneers and their wagon trains traveling through Wyoming between 1841 and 1868 is still visible today. Ambrose. [2] Ponds fed by summer snow melt attract a wide range of migratory birds such as ducks, trumpeter swans[citation needed], and white pelicans[citation needed]. The high elevation with its cooler summer range attracts elk and mule deer. Head to one of the last truly wild places in the Lower 48: Wyoming's Red Desert. Yet the broader impact of sagebrush upon the ecology is its function as a living snow fence. Red Desert, WY Directions {{::location.tagLine.value.text}} Sponsored Topics. Predators such as coyotes and the occasional mountain lion, swift fox, and kit fox are attracted by the area's mammals for feed. The Northern Red Desert is an immense landscape in western Wyoming that offers spectacular opportunities for hikers, hunters, photographers and families out camping. Explore how we've evolved to tackle some of the world's greatest challenges. This is the only place where the Continental Divide splits and rejoins, forming an enormous basin where water collects rather than flowing into the Pacific or Atlantic oceans. University of Wyoming historian Phil Roberts described the notion of building a transcontinental railroad as "today's equivalent of the mission to Mars: Big, expensive and impossible". An estimated 84% of the Red Desert has been "industrialized" by oil and gas drilling or by mining operations and associated roads.[1]. BP, an energy company, reports service people associated with the Wamsutter gas field travel 800,000 miles (1,300,000 km) per month, down from 1,000,000 miles (1,600,000 km). However, the bald eagle is seldom seen in the desert because of the lack of streams or lakes with accompanying fish. Of particular note, the Overland Stage initially followed the Platte River and the Oregon Trail to South Pass, but later shifted to a route across southern Wyoming. [3] Energy sources have made the region the center of today's natural gas boom in Wyoming. [3] However, habitat is constrained by oil and gas roads along with drilling and mining. Water percolates deep into sand where it is safe from evaporating winds and sun. Frontier expansion after the railroad's completion spurred new trade routes such as the New Fork Wagon Road that ran 80 miles (130 km) from Rock Springs, Wyoming, to New Fork. The world's largest herd of desert elk can be found here, along with wagon ruts etched by pioneers traveling the Oregon Trail, and prehistoric rock art and Shoshone spiritual sites. The Union Pacific Company found reliable water by drilling deep artesian wells in the desert. This development creates a network of roads, truck traffic, wells, and pipelines that alter the Red Desert’s landscape and wildlife. [3] Striking evidence of early human inhabitants is seen in rock art found at the Boars Tusk, East Flaming Gorge, and Seedskadee areas. Get more stories delivered right to your email. The region is rich in oil, natural gas, uranium, and coal. [3], Tanner refers to the Red Desert as a marketplace and crossroads during more recent times of interaction between nomadic Plains Indians, including Blackfeet, Crows, and Shoshone. Similarly, the burrowing owl nests and roosts underground, typically in burrows dug by prairie dogs. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! Motorists are required to avoid the fresh water ponds scattered throughout the dunes. The former produced today's highly valued mineral trona, while the latter created coal-bed methane gas, coal, and the world's largest known oil-shale deposit. A short-lived gold rush in the mountains north of the Red Desert beginning in 1867[12] led to stage and freight service from Point of Rocks on the Union Pacific Railroad north to South Pass City. In the 19th century, the Oregon, California and Mormon Trails crossed the Continental Divide at South Pass By collaborating with agency and industry partners, and using our science-based methodologies to set conservation priorities, we can work together to protect the Red Desert’s wildness. Stabilization is a cumulative process. The result of the Red Desert's unique ecology is that wildlife is varied. [15], The Union Pacific Railroad helped launch western towns along its route, like Wamsutter. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. The white-tailed prairie dog, Great Basin spadefoot toad, tiger salamander, pygmy rabbits, and sagebrush lizards all go underground for protection from the desert's extreme weather and predators. Black-footed ferrets, which feed upon prairie dogs, are also rare. [20], Coordinates: 41°49′29″N 108°17′12″W / 41.82472°N 108.28667°W / 41.82472; -108.28667. Historic trails used by nineteenth century stagecoaches are also part of the Red Desert's legacy. NORTHERN RED DESERT DRIVING TOUR MAP You can pick up your own map at the following locations: All Wyoming State Parks visitor centers that are currently open—Sinks Canyon, South Pass City, Seminoe, Fort Bridger and Bear River Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area PINEDALE—Chamber of Commerce, Two Rivers Fishing, The Outdoor Store, Geared Up Bike Shop, … Continue reading "Maps" Such plants help stabilize the sand by slightly reducing ground-level wind velocity. With tens of thousands of pronghorn antelope, desert-dwelling elk and migrating mule deer, it also hosts unique and important habitat for many types of wildlife. A westward-looking nation in 1869 united its eastern and western shores with the First Transcontinental Railroad, whose route traversed the Red Desert. [15] The New Fork Wagon Road connected isolated ranchers and settlements in northern Sweetwater and eastern Sublette Counties. In some cases, such as at Guernsey, wagon wheels wore ruts deep into solid sandstone. The Chain Lakes provide wetland stopovers for migrating shorebirds, including avocets, ducks, killdeer, willets, and other waterfowl. Gosiute reached its maximum surface area of 15,000 square miles (39,000 km2) with its shoreline stretching into Utah. Legal. Generations of American families, beginning in the 1840s, also left their mark upon the desert as they migrated westward along emigrant trails. [19] The gas field encompasses an area in the Red Desert about 55 miles (89 km) long and 35 miles (56 km) wide. Beginning in 1913, the Lincoln Highway connected them. Charitable Solicitation Disclosures Elk depend upon tall brush near Steamboat Mountain for shelter during spring calving season and elsewhere for shade during the heat of summer. Global sites represent either regional branches of The Nature Conservancy or local affiliates of The Nature Conservancy that are separate entities. The majority of the Red Desert is public land managed by the Rock Springs and Rawlins field offices of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Other plant communities include aspen, limber pine woodlands, mixed-grass prairie, Wyoming big sagebrush and greasewood. What to See: Animals  The Chain Lakes provide wetland stopovers for migrating shorebirds, including avocets, ducks, killdeer, willets, and other waterfowl. The Continental Divide branches to the desert's northwest and rejoins in the southeast, creating the Great Divide Basin, from which no surface water drains. Signs of these early trade routes, such as stage stations and freighter camps, are still visible in areas such as Freighter's Gap. In the 19th century, the Oregon, California and Mormon Trails crossed the Continental Divide at South Pass, just north of the Red Desert. A film by Patagonia about Run the Red Desert. What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing  | The Red Desert is a uniquely Wyoming Landscape—one blanketed with sage, carved with colorful badlands, rich with wildlife, and steeped in cultural and historical significance. The Nature Conservancy is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization (tax identification number 53-0242652) under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. The fresh water also provides a habitat for aquatic organism such as salamanders and freshwater shrimp. Thank you! [3] During other times the lake evaporated completely. Researchers interpret the petroglyphs carved into rock at these sites as biographical, ceremonial, or spiritual expressions. This effectively stores moisture that is released into the soil in late spring and early summer. Windblown snow builds up on the lee side of the brush during winter.

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