The heavily timbered slope before you provides excellent habitat for many species of wildlife. Douglas Fir trees with Oregon Grape, Mountain Lover, Snowberry, Wild Rose and many other shrubs in the under story, cover the slope. Vegetation is thicker on this north-facing hillside because it remains in the shade much of the winter. Lack of sun keeps snow from melting, providing the extra moisture needed by the trees.
This slope is home to wildlife that prefers dense forest habitat. Found here are the tiny pygmy owl, the agile goshawk, brilliant red and yellow western tanagers, blue grouse and the Townsend's solitaire. Mammals seen here include black bear, mule deer, moose, porcupines, pine martens, snowshow hares, and red squirrels.
Canyons walls rise from the riparian zone along the river, wet, lush riparian habitat along the middle fork of the Popo Agie provide water, food and a travel corridor through the canyon for wildlife.
The crumbling tan cliffs visible through the trees are comprised of Madison formation limestone. It is in this thick, soft rock that "The Sinks" are found. The Middle Fork flows down the canyon and into cracks in this limestone where it sinks, disappearing underground until the river reappears in "The Rise," ¼ mile downstream.
During the 1940s and 50s most of the
lower half of Sinks Canyon was purchased by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to preserve and manage important habitats for wildlife. Through a cooperative management agreement with the State Parks and Historical Society the canyon continues to provide critical winter habitat for many animals because it remains relatively snow free and has food, shelter and water available during even the toughest winter months.