WYOMING LIVING SNOW FENCE PROGRAM
The Wyoming Living Snow Fence Program is a cooperative effort between the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT), Wyoming State Forestry Division (WSFD), local Conservation Districts (CD) and private landowners to implement windbreak plantings for the purpose of snow catchment along State highways. Living Snow Fence plantings enhance State and County efforts to keep roads safe and open during periods of adverse winter weather while reducing highway maintenance expenditures. The Program provides funds to cover the costs of planting and maintaining LSF projects. WYDOT provides $100,000 annually to the Program.
For more information, please visit the
Wyoming State Forestry Division website.
Between 2000 and 2010, ninety one projects with a total of 257,523 lineal feet or 48.77 miles of tree row have been installed. These plantings will provide strategic protection for 16.95 miles of public roadway upon establishment.
BARK BEETLE INFORMATION
There are forests in Colorado, Wyoming, and South Dakota that are experiencing bark beetle epidemics at a historically unprecedented scale. For more information, go to the Region 2 Forest Service website at http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/bark-beetle/index.html or Firewise Wyoming website at http://www.firewisewyoming.com/Publications.html
LIVING SNOW FENCES
Living snow fences, when properly designed and located, can assist
with control of relocated snow, provide stable and high quality wildlife
habitat, enhance environmental aesthetics, furnish winter protection for
domestic livestock, and reduce highway snow control costs.
Living barriers take time to reach effective heights
and densities following establishment. Some sites may not support living
fences. In arid climates effort is required to establish trees and
shrubs. However, by using certain techniques, establishment can be
Barrier features which affect drifting should be known
and understood when designing living fences. Such features include
height, density, and length.
Location and design of living fences are not
necessarily the same as for farmstead, livestock, or field wind and snow
barriers. Density, distances, species, and wildlife components commonly
used in the latter may need to be altered to meet snow storage and other
objectives of living fences.
A number of materials and techniques can aid in living
fence establishment and growth on arid sites. Other than drip systems,
plastic and polypropylene fabrics can aid dryland plantings.
High winds not only have a major effect on the
microclimate and increase the wind-chill index, but also cause
structural damage to buildings, fences, shade trees, vehicles, and other
property from both the physical force of the wind and abrasion from wind
born particles. The most appreciated benefit of an effective windbreak
is the reduction of wind velocity, thus modifying the climate to reduce
heat gains in summer and heat losses in winter. The correct arrangement
of trees and shrubs in a windbreak can reduce wind velocity as much as
Heating and cooling of homes is a major use of energy.
Energy use in residences represents 17 percent of the total energy use
in the United States. Through proper windbreak establishment, an energy
savings of 15 to 20 percent can be experienced by the average home owner
Please visit our
YouTube page to
view informative videos on living snow fences and windbreaks.
For assistance in designing and planting your living wind barriers, make
contact your local conservation district.