EcoWatch

Grant funding from the Wyoming Sage Grouse Conservation Fund is available for local grouse-related research.

‘Lessons from the field’ continues

The Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative’s “Lessons From the Field” conversation series continues at noon Thursday with a talk from research associate Molly Loomis Tyson.

Tyson has lived in the region as a writer, teacher and climbing ranger since 2001, and graduated in May with a master’s degree in environmental management from Yale University’s School of the Environment.

Register for free to receive the Zoom link at TinyURL.com/NRCCconversation.

The conversation continues noon Sept. 10 with a talk by artist and educator Katie Shepherd Christiansen, and at noon on Sept. 24 with a talk by wolverine biologist Rebecca Watters.

Wildlife Services seeks input

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services office for Wyoming has completed an environmental assessment that outlines options for handling conflicts with wildlife.

Four possibilities are detailed in the planning document. Alternative one, the proposed action, would not change the current program. Alternative two would use only lethal action for “correction control.” Alternative three would confine Wildlife Services to technical assistance. Alternative four would eliminate the agency’s Wyoming program.

Comments on the draft environmental assessment are due Monday.

Submit comments and review the 278-page document by going online to Regulations.gov/docket?D=APHIS-2020-0077.

Virtual Nature Mapping training

The Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation is putting on a training Sept. 3 for people who’d like to participate in its citizen science program, Nature Mapping Jackson Hole.

The Meg and Bert Raynes Wildlife Fund pays for the program, which compiles data about wildlife sightings throughout the valley. Participation is free and open to all ages.

Interested parties should RSVP to kate@jhwildilfe.org to sign up. The training will be conducted via Zoom.

Sage grouse grants available

A working group that helps manage sage grouse in the Upper Snake River Basin has opened an application period for 2020 grants for grouse-related projects and research.

Funding is from the Wyoming Sage Grouse Conservation Fund and administered by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department on behalf of the eight local sage grouse working groups. The application can be found here: tinyurl.com/WGFDgrousegrants.

Proposals are due by Sept. 7.

Contact Leslie Schreiber, sagebrush and sage grouse biologist, with questions at leslie.schreiber@wyo.gov.

The working group is meeting from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sept. 21 to select projects and discuss other sage grouse matters.

Custer-Gallatin objections due

After four years of planning the Custer-Gallatin National Forest has released its revised forest plan.

The document guides forest management, use and protection of the 3.1-million-acre forest, at the northern end of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

People who commented on the plan while it was being written are eligible to object. Those objections are due Sept. 8. An online portal to submit them is available at TinyURL.com/Custer-GallatinObjections.

Headwaters forum goes virtual

The Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, Protect Our Water Jackson Hole and the Wyoming Outdoor Council have convened a virtual forum for people interested in learning about water quality issues in the valley.

An expert panel will discuss the science behind water protections and potential solutions that could help keep the Snake River headwaters healthy.

The event is from 6 to 7 p.m. on Sept. 10 and will be aired via Zoom. Register online at JHalliance.org/event/water/.

Concessionaire regs to change

The U.S. Department of the Interior has issued a proposed rule that changes a number of regulations related to how the National Park Service offers, selects and manages concessionaire contracts.

The changes concern fees, duration of contracts and incentives for investments in park-owned infrastructure.

The Concessions Management Improvement Act, which governs the contracts today, has not been substantially changed in 20 years, according to an Interior Department news release.

People can review the proposed rule and comment at TinyURL.com/NPS-concessionaire.

Comments are due Sept. 18.

Travel plan comments extended

Shoshone National Forest has added 30 days to its comment period for an environmental assessment of proposed changes to its travel management plan.

The planning documents examine 136 ranger district-specific and two forest-wide proposals to the wheeled-vehicle travel system submitted during the earlier scoping phase of the process. Another 16 district-specific and nine forest-wide proposals were submitted for the winter travel system.

Comments are now due Sept. 28. They can be submitted at TinyURL.com/yymfdffv or emailed to SM.FS.shonfcomment@usda.gov with “Shoshone NF Travel Management Planning Project” in the subject line.

State lands future studied

A Wyoming agency is seeking ideas for developing more than 7 square miles the state owns in Teton County.

The 4,655 acres is used to fund the Equality State’s schools. It’s spread among 18 parcels, including high-profile locations like Crystal and East Gros Ventre buttes, a square mile along the Village Road and a section that hugs Grand Teton National Park near Kelly.

The Office of State Lands and Investments, which was directed by legislation to do the study, has opened an application period for developers. Proposals are due Oct. 2.

Find information about submitting applications and a map of pertinent trust parcels at Lands.WYO.gov.

— Compiled by Mike Koshmrl

Contact Mike Koshmrl at 732-7067 or env@jhnewsandguide.com.

Mike has reported on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem's wildlife, wildlands and the agencies that manage them since 2012. A native Minnesotan, he arrived in the West to study environmental journalism at the University of Colorado.

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