CWD

Shown is a lymph node extracted from a hunter-killed elk in Grand Teton National Park in 2018. The nodes are cataloged and sent to the state lab in Laramie for chronic wasting disease testing. A draft CWD management plan is due out Monday.

Legislators meet to talk wildlife

The Wyoming Legislature’s Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Interim Committee meets remotely on Thursday and Friday.

Issues on the agenda include draft legislation related to COVID-19 relief and local tourism marketing, access and incentive options for hunting on Wyoming’s private land, and wildlife meat rendering. Legislators will hear testimony about funding options for the Wyoming Office of State Parks and Cultural Resources, and the Wyoming Gaming Commission will discuss gaming operations in the state. The committee will also hear testimony relating to the potential creation of a Civilian Conservation Corps program for Wyoming youth.

The meeting will be broadcast via live video stream available on the Legislature’ website, WyoLeg.gov. The meeting goes from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, resuming at 8:30 a.m. Friday. There will be opportunities for the public to comment.

Learn about wolverines

The Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative’s “Lessons From the Field” conversation series wraps up for the year at noon Thursday with a free talk by wolverine biologist Rebecca Watters. You can register to receive the Zoom link at TinyURL.com/NRCCconversation.

Targhee growth comments due

The Caribou-Targhee National Forest is looking for public comments about a sweeping expansion proposal at Grand Targhee Resort that includes on-slope restaurants, a handful of new lifts and a nearly 50% increase in the 64-year-old ski area’s footprint along the west slope of the Tetons.

The proposal, which is now in the scoping phase, seeks to add approximately 1,200 acres to Targhee’s current 2,517-acre permit area on the forest. The new acreage is split into two similar-size Teton Canyon expansion zones to the south and west being dubbed the “South Bowl Pod” and “Mono Trees Pod,” which together would be served by four new ski lifts and have nearly 280 acres of cleared runs.

The changes sought would increase developed ski terrain or cleared runs at Grand Targhee by 76%, from 520 acres to 915 acres. Other elements of the plan include rebuilt and all-new lifts within the current boundary, a tubing park, a guest yurt, 29 miles of new trails, 5.6 miles of new roads, and a zip line, ropes course and aerial adventure course that would be located above the primary base area.

Snowmaking would be expanded in a dozen areas totaling 57 acres. New restaurants would be located at the summit of Fred’s Mountain and the Sacajawea Lift.

Find an online comment form at TinyURL.com/TargheeExpansion. Comments are due Oct. 12.

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 of weeks.

Hunters are asked to submit lymph nodes. An instructional video on how to extract the lymph nodes can be found on Wyoming 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.

Travel plan comments due

The Shoshone National Forest is seeking public comments by Monday about 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.

You can submit comments at TinyURL.com/yymfdffv or by email 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 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

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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