Pronghorn in Grand Teton National Park

Two pronghorn graze the sagebrush flats east of Blacktail Butte as the sunrise begins to illuminate the Teton peaks in Grand Teton National Park. The park has been prioritizing the restoration of the sagebrush in the area of Blacktail Butte an Mormon Row.

The University of Wyoming’s Harlow Summer Series continues at 6:30 tonight with another seminar.

Daniel Laughlin, a plant ecology associate professor at the University of Wyoming, will discuss sagebrush restoration in Jackson Hole during what the United Nations has declared the “decade of ecosystem restoration.” Laughlin’s UW laboratory group is working with Grand Teton National Park officials to understand and enhance sagebrush restoration in the park.

“It’s quite a very different thing than preservation,” Laughlin said. “Ecosystem restoration is something radically different. It’s saying, ‘Humans are a part of nature and that we need to restore and repair what we have damaged.’ ”

In his talk, Laughlin will discuss the successes and failures of long-term sagebrush restoration projects in Teton park, as well as new experiments to enhance biodiversity and wildlife habitat around the Blacktail Butte and the Mormon Row area.

“There’s probably about 5,000 acres that they’re trying to restore,” Laughlin said. “They want to get it back to pristine sagebrush and so they’ve been … seeding sagebrush and other native plants.”

He will also discuss the development of restoration ecology and the challenges facing restoration ecologists in a time of rapid environmental change.

“We’re doing this in a changing climate,” Laughlin said. “We’re trying to restore an ecosystem that was here historically. Now that the climate is actually quite different and on a different trajectory, that raises some open-ended questions about how we do restoration into the future.”

Instead of holding the summer seminar series at the AMK Ranch, this summer’s events are being held at the University of Wyoming Extension building at 255 W. Deloney Ave.

The seminars are open to the public, but seating in the building is limited to 100 people. Mask wearing is strongly encouraged.

Food will be provided before each seminar, starting at 5:30 p.m., with a suggested minimum donation of $5.

Contact Analeise S. Mayor at 732-7076 or This story is supported by a grant through Wyoming EPSCoR and the National Science Foundation.

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