EcoWatch

Objections to a recently issued U.S. Forest Service environmental impact statement regarding greater sage grouse habitat are due by Oct. 1.

CWD workshop is Friday

The Wyoming Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers is partnering with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to host a chronic wasting disease workshop Friday at Mike Yokel Park.

Chronic wasting disease, or CWD, affects deer and elk herds and has been spreading across Wyoming in recent years, officially reaching Jackson Hole last fall.

Game and Fish disease specialist Ben Wise will lead the workshop. It will run from 6 to 9 p.m.

Get instructions on how to RSVP at TinyURL.com/cwdworkshop.

Your thoughts on grouse?

The U.S. Forest Service has issued a final environmental impact statement for land management plan amendments to greater sage grouse habitat.

Also released were five draft records of decision for national forests in Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, and Wyoming/Colorado, including the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

The proposal will allow more disturbance and development on 5.4 million acres of potential greater sage grouse habitat.

Objections are due by Oct. 1.

Fence pulls will continue

The Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation is continuing fence removal and modification projects that are intended to help animals move around the landscape.

Projects are scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 24, Sept. 14 and Sept. 28.

At JHWildlife.org/our-work/current-projects you can find information.

History talk is on tap

The Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum has two remaining public presentations about environmental history.

Thomas Andrews will talk tonight about horse culture and native people.

Dan Flores will speak Aug. 14 about coyotes, people and the American West. The talks, which are free, will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the museum on North Cache Street.

A discussion will follow the presentation, hosted by history professor Sherry Smith. To register for the post-presentation presentation visit JacksonHoleHistory.org, email Frances Ritchie at frances@jacksonholehistory.org or call 733-2414. The one-hour presentation is free. Discussions afterward cost $10.

NEPA changes considered

The U.S. Forest Service is seeking to change the criteria for when it involves the public and alter what types of projects will demand a significant environmental review.

Specifically, the federal agency proposed a revision to its regulatory obligations under the National Environmental Policy Act, a bedrock environmental law that comes into play when significant changes to public land are planned.

Under the application national forests like the Bridger-Teton would have more leeway and be less burdened by paperwork when pushing forward on projects. A pitfall is that the public may have less opportunity to sway decisions and less information about planned projects.

The Forest Service’s planned National Environmental Policy Act regulations are open to public comment through Monday. Email any thoughts to nepa-procedures-revision@fs.fed.us.

Campground fees to rise

The Bridger-Teton National Forest is proposing to raise the fees for some campgrounds and rental cabins.

The price hike applies to campgrounds and structures in the forest’s Kemmerer, Big Piney, Pinedale and Blackrock ranger districts.

Several campsites now listed at $7 could rise to $10 or $12. Rates for cabins could more than double, from $30 to $60 or $80. The Bridger-Teton retains about 95% of the fee money.

Public comments are due by Aug. 31. Email them to Recreation Program Manager Cindy Stein at cindy.stein@usda.gov.

See the proposed campground and cabin fee hikes at FS.USDA.gov/activity/btnf/recreation/camping-cabins.

Meet the wildflowers

Join Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative researcher Trevor Bloom to learn about local native plants while collecting data on how they are being affected by climate change.

Participants needn’t RSVP, and can meet at 2 p.m. the Blacktail Butte trailhead.

The next Wildflower Watch walk of the season is on Sept. 8.

Contact Bloom for information at trevordavidbloom@gmail.com.

Run for wilderness

The Wyoming Wilderness Association has organized a competitive trail run that will coincide with the inaugural Wyoming Public Lands Day.

The Sept. 28 Run the Red event has half-marathon and 45- and 120-kilometer options. Routes pass by wilderness study areas and the longest ungulate migration route in the Lower 48 in a scenic high-desert landscape south of the Wind River Range. The event is also sponsored by the National Outdoor Leadership School.

See WildWyo.org/run-the-red for information.

— 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 for 7 years. A native Minnesotan, he arrived in the West to study environmental journalism at the University of Colorado.

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