Wyoming Wildlife, Ecosystems Under Attack!

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Subject: Troubles in Wyoming
From:    “Lance Olsen” <lance@wildrockies.org>
Date:    Sat, February 2, 2008 2:36 pm
To:      “cmcr-outreach” <cmcr-outreach@vortex.wildrockies.org>
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“You have no doubt noticed that the number of proposals for large, destructive projects on Wyoming’s public lands have increased in frequency, and thus BCA alerts to members to
by Bio-Broadcast

February Bio-Broadcast

Monthly e-Newsletter from Biodiversity Conservation Alliance

CONTENTS:

WHY SO MANY ALERTS AND DEADLINES?

Since 2001, a number of disturbing memoranda were generated by the current administration in regard to the BLM. For example:

1) oil and gas leasing will be the number-one priority for the BLM;
2) the BLM reported there were too many “impediments and restrictions” to drilling for oil and gas on public land in the Rockies; and
3) suggesting the BLM use the “least restrictive” measures to protect environmental values.

As a result, drilling permits increased 42% from 2000 to 2006, and wells started on public lands increased 46% during the same period. Literally, there are not enough drilling rigs in the nation to drill the minerals already leased.

You have no doubt noticed that the number of proposals for large, destructive projects on Wyoming’s public lands have increased in frequency, and thus BCA alerts to members to inform and advocate have increased as well. As the countdown on the current administration continues, we expect these numbers to continue to increase. There’s only one year left. Now is the time to redouble our efforts and to continue standing up for the land we all own and the wildlife that is our natural heritage. And take heart, the light at the end of the tunnel is visible!

HELP STOP SPRUCE GULCH CLEARCUT ON THE ‘BOW

The Forest Service has proposed a large clearcut logging project in the Spruce Gulch area of the Medicine Bow National Forest. Ostensibly to manage the bark beetle infestation, the proposal includes clearcutting up to 3,700 acres. In response to BCA, the Service has agreed to minimize logging within critical Canada lynx corridor habitat, important for lynx recovery in southern Wyoming.

Please write the Forest Service before February 15, 2008, and tell them you endorse their move to preserve lynx corridor habitat, but that the Spruce Gulch project cannot go forward as proposed, due to its massive scale and focus on clearcutting. For more info and talking points, visit:

general/alerts/a1February2008.html>http://www.voiceforthewild.org/general/alerts/a1February2008.html.

Mail your letter to:
Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests,
Attn: Melissa Martin, Project
Coordinator, 2468 Jackson St.
Laramie, WY  82070

or email it to:

mmartin@fs.fed.us>mmartin@fs.fed.us.

Thank you in advance, champions of the Medicine Bow!

ATTEND THE PINEDALE ANTICLINE PUBLIC MEETING

After standing-room only at the first public meeting on new proposed drilling options for the Pinedale Anticline, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has scheduled a second public meeting in Pinedale for THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7, from 6-9 PM, at Rendezvous Pointe (the new Senior Center) 425 E. Magnolia Street, Pinedale, WY. The BLM needs to hear from those of us who want see energy development balanced with wildlife, air and water protections. Please plan to attend and tell the BLM that the Wyoming we want does not include wildlife population collapses, pollution of our clean air, impairment of our pristine views, and the social implosion occurring in our communities. Demand that the BLM balance energy development by making the following changes in its Preferred Alternative (Alternative D) in the Revised Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for drilling on the Pinedale Anticline:

*Maintain all seasonal wildlife restrictions and protect wildlife migration
corridors,

*slow the pace of development,

*suspend leases in the peripheral areas for the duration of development in the core area,

*require directional drilling wherever technically possible,

*control sediment runoff into watersheds to protect native cutthroat trout species,

*withdraw all un-leased areas and expired leases from future leasing for life of SEIS, and

*protect all Class I airsheds from pollution and visibility impairment.

Don’t let multinational corporations and the federal government erode our standards. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR SPEAKING OUT FOR WYOMING! February 7, 6-9 PM, Rendezvous Pointe, Pinedale, WY

REMINDER: GREAT DIVIDE, PRAIRIE DOGS NEED YOU

Speaking of upcoming deadlines, this is a reminder to please use your voice to protect wildlife and wild places:

*The Great Divide Final Environmental Impact Statement-Comments due February 4, 2008 (next Monday) mailed to:

Jim Caswell, Director, BLM,
Attention Brenda Hudgens-Williams,
PO Box 66538, Washington, D.C. 20035.

For more info and talking points, see:

general/alerts/a9January08.html

*The Thunder Basin Prairie Dog Management Strategy-Comments due February 4, 2008 (next Monday) mailed to:

Mary H. Peterson, Forest Supervisor,
Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and
Thunder Basin National Grassland,
Douglas Ranger District, 2250 E Richards St.
Douglas, WY 82633, attention Marilee Houtler

or faxed to 307-358-7107, or emailed to:

comments-rocky-mountain-medicine-bow-routt-douglas-thunder-basin@fs.fed.us

See the plan online at:

http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/mbr/projects/forestplans/in_progress/index.shtml

Info and talking points can be found at:

general/alerts/a21January2008.html

UPPER HOBACK DRILLING THREATENS WILDLIFE

Plains Exploration has upped the ante in the northern end of the Wyoming Range, changing their exploratory drilling package from three wells on a single wellpad to 136 wells from 17 pads, a drilling scenario that will rival the Pinedale Anticline in intensity. This project would impacts roadless areas in the Wyoming Range, destroying habitat for lynx, elk, andmoose and potentially severing an important migration and dispersal corridor along the Hoback Rim between the Gros Ventre and Wyoming Ranges. The Forest Service is currently taking scoping comments through February 7, 2008. Write in and tell the Forest Service that it should seek a buy-out of oil and gas leases to prevent drilling altogether in this sensitive area. At
minimum, the Forest Service should delay approving the Master Development Plan until after the exploratory wells prove up, and any large-scale drilling should require phased development in which no more than 2 wellpads
could be in operation at any one time. Send your comments to:

comments-intermtn-bridger-teton@fs.fed.us.

subject “Eagle Prospect and Noble Basin Master Development Plan;” the full development scenario is online under 2007 NEPA Documents at:

http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/btnf/projects/

PROPOSED BILL DISASTER FOR NONGAME WILDLIFE

Senate File 3, a bill scheduled to come before the Wyoming Legislature this session, would remove Wyoming Game and Fish Department funding for the Non-Game Wildlife Program, and give the Legislature the power of the purse-strings over nongame wildlife. The Nongame program manages all non-sporting species in the state including most rare and disappearing species. Legislature-funded programs are vulnerable to all kinds of pressure and tampering by the politicians, and the Wyoming Legislature has an extremely anti-wildlife track record when it comes to non-game species. Mostly, they vote to subject our nongame wildlife to poisoning and aerial gunning.

At present, the Nongame Wildlife Program is funded through the Wyoming Game and Fish’s budget, which comes from license fees and federal funds, and is relatively free from political meddling by the Legislature. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department needs more funding for nongame wildlife, but getting it
through the Legislature is a recipe for disaster. (Interestingly, while S.F. 3 pulls the Nongame Program out of the present protected funding stream, it provides no funding to the nongame program). Do you think the Wyoming
legislature should control the purse-strings for the nongame program? If not, then call your Wyoming legislators at 1-866-996-8683 starting
February 11, 2008, and tell them to vote NO on Senate File 3.

THANK YOU! MANY HANDS MAKE LIGHT(ER) WORK

Thanks to the hard work of many volunteers and generous contribution of coffee and goodies from Grounds Coffeeshop in Laramie, the BCA office is
almost back to normal after the New Year’s Eve flood! Thank you so much for pitching in on an otherwise overwhelming project. The staff couldn’t have done it without you. Please thank businesses like Grounds Coffee that support the BCA mission!

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY TO YOU FROM BCA!

Keep your eyes peeled about how to “green” your Valentine’s Day!

BCA
Biodiversity Conservation Alliance
PO Box 1512, Laramie, WY 82073-1512
307-742-7978, fax 307-742-7989

http://www.voiceforthewild.org

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