Federal authorities have announced the establishment of a 7,000-square-mile watershed conservation area in three states that includes major migration corridors for birds and mammals.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Thursday gave notice that it has established the Bear River Watershed Conservation Area in Idaho, Utah and Wyoming. Its creation is part of a plan to protect wildlife habitat by buying perpetual conservation easements from willing private landowners.
The agency says it has identified some 1,400 square miles of potential easements on priority habitat that connects the northern and southern Rocky Mountains
The conservation area includes national wildlife refuges in each state and the 500-mile Bear River.
Officials say the area supports native fish, more than 200 species of birds and links migratory routes for elk, pronghorn and other mammals.