EcoWatch

The Bridger-Teton National Forest is accepting objections to its decision for Snow King Mountain expansion until Nov. 23. The enlarged ski area would include Leeks Canyon, on Snow King’s backside.

Y’stone fiber-optic comments due

Yellowstone National Park is taking steps to route fiber-optic cable along most of its road system, vastly improving cellphone service throughout the 2.2 million acres of the country’s first national park.

Comments on the plan are due today (Oct. 21).

The plans, submitted by Diamond Communications, would allow Yellowstone to remove old microwave reflectors from mountaintops and backcountry areas. No new cellular towers would be installed under the proposal.

The plans would improve cellphone coverage and also park computer networks and broadband internet connections. Yellowstone is “scoping” the plans, but it intends to prepare an environmental assessment to authorize the project in winter 2021.

Find instructions on commenting online at ParkPlanning.NPS.gov/fiber.

Draft Madison rule is released

Montana’s draft Madison River recreation rules have been released and are available for public review.

The documents can be found at FWP.mt.gov. Comments are being taken through Oct. 30.

The environmental assessment outlining proposed changes to the recreation rules looks at three alternatives. The analysis looks at each alternative for effects on the recreation use, natural and physical resources, heritage and economics of the Madison River.

Direct questions to Jessica Snyder at 406-444-9785 or jesssnyder@mt.gov.

Snow King objections sought

The Bridger-Teton National Forest is accepting objections to its decision for Snow King Mountain that allows the ski resort’s infrastructure to spread in three directions: to the east, west and over the backside into Leeks Canyon.

Other elements of Snow King’s plans that moved forward as part of a “preferred alternative” in the forest’s final environmental impact statement include new ski runs, a longer and wider summit access road, summit restaurant, a zip line, mountain bike trails, magic carpet conveyers, a backside ski lift and a gondola to replace the Summit Lift.

Although the national forest has issued a decision, it is a draft that can still be contested by parties who commented during earlier stages of the approval process. Objections are due by Nov. 23. Email them to objectionsintermtn-regional-office@usda.gov.

Bridger-Teton officials expect the objection meetings will be held in January, likely online depending on the status of COVID-19.

Rule change on hunter records

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is considering a new regulation that explicitly prohibits the release of information that would identify hunters and the location of their kills.

The proposed rule, which was triggered by a 2020 Budget Session bill that passed the Wyoming Legislature, states that the location of any game bird, small game, big game, furbearer or trophy game species that was legally killed is not a public record. Likewise, “personally identifiable information,” including peoples’ name, addresses, emails, phone numbers and other data, are not releasable to the public.

Comments on the draft regulation are due by 5 p.m. Nov. 20. View the proposal and submit comments online at WGFD.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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