Cokeville Meadows National Wildlife Refuge
Elk wintering at Cokeville Meadows
A 20-mile stretch of the Bear River south of Cokeville, Wyoming, is the centerpiece of the Cokeville Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. However, the property is still in the acquisition phase. In 1992, Congress approved a bounday that contains some 26,657 acres but until now, only 9,259 acres in the target zone have either been bought or are protected by conservation easements. This particular area along the Bear River supports Black tern, White-faced Ibis and countless other shorebirds and waterfowl in one of the highest densities of nesting and migratory water birds in Wyoming. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is working toward the reintroduction of Trumpeter swans in this area. The property is also excellent habitat for pronghorn, mule deer and elk.
There is a wildlife observation station along the west side of Highway 30 about 10 miles south of Cokeville. Other than that, the Cokeville Meadows National Wildlife Refuge is closed to the public: Highway 30 forms the eastern boundary of the proposed property but within that boundary there is a checkerboard of ownership with BLM, private and state parcels intermingled. Cokeville Meadows is administered by the refuge office at Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge, some 75 miles to the east.
Cokeville Meadows National Wildlife Refuge area map
Fossil Butte National Monument - Big Spring Scenic Backway