With spring, the meadow grasses and broad-leafed plants, called forbs, emerge green and succulent. Antelope, mule deer, and elk wintering south and west of here return each spring to the green grass and forb meadows found in the sagebrush desert and stream bottoms near the base of the Wind River Mountains.
These small green plants provide life-giving nutrients crucial to the last developmental stages of the embryo. Once born, the heath and survival of the fawn or calf depends on the amount and quality of milk provided by the mother, which in turn depends on her intake of this succulent green feed.
Forbs and grasses also provide the moist conditions necessary for insect production. Insect production in the sagebrush and meadows are highest in May and June. Almost all bird life requires insect food to produce eggs and young. The newly hatched birds must consume large amounts of insects to acquire enough protein and calcium for their rapid growth.
Shrubs, such as sagebrush, provide fall and winter feed as well as yearlong cover for wildlife in this country. And so, it is the grass and forb meadows scattered throughout the sagebrush lands that are an important part of the special formula helping to keep Wyoming's wild lands abundant with wildlife.