Welcome to Thunder Basin invites visitors to linger

Sagebrush in foreground, Rochelle Hills in background with large cumulus clouds in pale blue sky.
The Thunder Basin grassland includes state, federal, and privately owned lands on the eastern edge of the Powder River Basin.

A new guide to Thunder Basin supplies a quick orientation for anyone who wants to learn more about the wide-open, wildlife-rich landscapes where the Great Plains meet the sagebrush steppe.

Free from University of Wyoming Extension, Welcome to Thunder Basin is available at bit.ly/UWEpubs.

In four pages and 19 photos, Welcome to Thunder Basin supplies a view of the ecology, wildlife, public lands history, land use and research in the area of northeast Wyoming that includes Thunder Basin National Grassland.

“The grassland doesn’t always make life in the field easy,” writes Courtney Duchardt in Welcome to Thunder Basin. A University of Wyoming graduate student in ecology and ecosystem science and management, Duchardt has spent more than 235 days (and nights) in Thunder Basin camping, photographing and conducting research.

The factsheet is the first in a series from University of Wyoming Extension in partnership with the Thunder Basin Research Initiative, area ranchers and energy companies, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service and the Thunder Basin Grasslands Prairie Ecosystem Association.

“This landscape is a patchwork,” writes Duchardt. “It’s a place where…wildlife and cattle coexist and where ranchers, researchers and energy executives share the goals of learning what the grassland has to teach…”

Welcome to Thunder Basin is one of more than 600 how-to guides from UW Extension (see bit.ly/UWEpubs) that help extend skills in cooking, canning, calving, estate planning and community change, plus gardening, grazing, pruning, cropping, habitat restoration and more. YouTube video series from UW Extension include From the Ground Up, Barnyards and Backyards and Exploring the Nature of Wyoming.