Wyoming is among the foremost of our States in its wealth of natural scenery, culminating in the grandeur of Yellowstone National Park, one of the wonders of the world. In addition to this distinction it posseses vast open plains and lofty mountains whence flow the headwaters of mighty river systems emptying far away to the west into the Pacific Ocean, to the southeast into the Gulf of Mexico, and to the southwest into the Gulf of California. The various slope exposures of its mountain ranges, the fertility of its intervening valleys or basins, and the aridity of its desert spaces present a study of geographic and vertical distribution of wild life that is in many particulars unique.
The study of geographic and vertical distribution of life with the governing factors and attendant problems is valuable as a matter of scientific research and in the attainment of practical knowledge. The Biological Survey has been making detailed investigations of the transcontinental life belts, or zones, of North America for some years, and this work has been carried on with special reference to their practical value. It has become increasingly evident that life zones furnish a fairly accurate index to average climatic conditions and, therefore, are useful as marking the limits of agricultural possibilities, so far as these are dependent upon climate. The knowledge thus gained has been published and made available as the investigations have progressed and the life zones have been mapped.1