NWF and WWF hold Wyoming meetings on status of pronghorn, mule deer herds
The National Wildlife Federation and the Wyoming Wildlife Federation hosted public meetings in Wyoming to discuss the alarming decline of pronghorn and mule deer along the Colorado-Wyoming Border. The meetings took place Sept 13-15 in Laramie, Saratoga, and Rock Springs, WY.
Report: Deer, pronghorn numbers decline in Colorado, Wyoming as demands on public lands rise
A new report by the National Wildlife Federation details the trend of declining populations of mule deer and pronghorns in northern Colorado and southern Wyoming. Veteran wildlife biologists John Ellenberger and Gene Byrne say data from the past 30 years show that growing demands on the landscape, including more people and energy development, are corresponding with animal numbers and slower rebounds from such cyclical pressures as drought and disease. They urge more coordination of public land management and planning for increased energy development.
Little Mountain Lease Sales
The Greater Little Mountain Area, located south of Rock Springs, contains crucial habitat ranges for elk, mule deer, antelope, and important riparian and watershed areas for Colorado River cutthroat trout. It has become the latest important hunting and fishing area to be included in the rush to lease and develop southwest Wyoming’s public lands.
Over the past year, the Bureau of Land Management has offered leases in the Greater Little Mountain Area three times. Last November, after receiving more than 127 formal protests the BLM decided to remove 13 of 14 parcels it proposed to lease in the Little Mountain Area. Opposition came from members of the public, Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Sweetwater County Board of County Commissioners and a number of conservation organizations.
The latest: In its August Lease Sale, the Bureau of Land Management will offer 48 parcels of oil and gas leases on approximately 43,000 acres of ground in Wyoming, including 2,239 acres of land on greater Little Mountain, just east of the Flaming Gorge Reservoir, an area prized for wildlife habitat, and conservation groups are again asking Sweetwater County residents to file formal protests against the Little Mountain leases.
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Atlantic Rim Opened for Drilling
In May 2007, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a Record of Decision (ROD), opening the 270,000 acre wildlife-rich Atlantic Rim area southwest of Rawlins to intensive coalbed methane (CBM) development. The Atlantic Rim ROD approves the drilling of approximately 2,000 new natural gas wells within some of the most productive big game habitat in Wyoming.