Wanted: CWD samples
The Fall Creek Elk Herd has been designated a focus of monitoring for the spread and prevalence of chronic wasting disease, and there’s a call out to hunters to help.
The elk herd, numbering about 5,000, roams primarily in hunt units 84 and 85, south of Jackson in parts of the Gros Ventre, Snake River and Wyoming ranges. Bow-hunting season in those units started last week, and rifle season is coming up in a couple weeks.
“We are asking hunters in these hunt areas to please submit a lymph node sample from their harvested deer or elk for testing,” said Hank Edwards, Game and Fish’s Wildlife Health Laboratory supervisor.
An instructional video on how to extract the nodes can be found on Game and Fish’s website, WGFD.wyo.gov.
Elk herds in the Wyoming and Salt River ranges are also being closely monitored in 2020, along with the Pinedale Elk Herd in the Wind River Range.
The nearest deer hunt area selected as a focus area for 2020 is near the Wind River Indian Reservation, in units 157 and 171.
Logging comments due now
The Custer-Gallatin National Forest is advancing plans to thin and log the forest on nearly 40,000 acres of its Hebgen Lake Ranger District south of West Yellowstone, Montana.
The South Plateau Landscape Treatment project plans to thin beetle-killed forest while also providing timber to local mills. Another goal is to reduce the fuel load in the event of wildfire.
The project covers the southernmost point of southwest Montana and is bordered on the west by Idaho and on the east by Yellowstone National Park.
An environmental assessment of the project’s impacts is open to public comment, which is due today. Review documents and comment at FS.USDA.gov/project/?project=57353.
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.
Review the proposed rule and comment online at TinyURL.com/NPS-concessionaire. Comments are due Friday.
Sage grouse group meets
A working group that helps manage sage grouse in the Upper Snake River Basin is meeting from 1 to 3 p.m. Monday to select projects to fund and discuss other sage grouse matters. Those interested in attending the virtual meeting should call Game and Fish’s Jackson Region office at 733-2321 for details.
More ‘Lessons from the field’
The Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative’s “Lessons From the Field” conversation series wraps up for the year at noon Sept. 24 with a free talk by wolverine biologist Rebecca Watters. You can register to receive the Zoom link at TinyURL.com/NRCCconversation.
Travel plan comments extended
The Shoshone National Forest 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 forestwide proposals to the wheeled-vehicle travel system submitted during the earlier scoping phase of the process.
Another 16 district-specific and nine forestwide proposals were submitted for the winter travel system.
State lands future studied
A Wyoming agency is seeking ideas for developing more than 7 square miles of state land in Teton County.
The 4,655 acres are used to fund schools and sprawl across 18 parcels, including high-profile locations like Crystal and East Gros Ventre buttes, a square mile along Highway 390 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 the parcels online at Lands.Wyo.gov.
— Compiled by Mike Koshmrl