EcoWatch

Trevor Bloom will lead a native plant survey at 2 p.m. Sept. 8 from the Blacktail Butte trailhead.

Meet the wildflowers

Join Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative researcher Trevor Bloom to learn about 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. Sept. 8 at the Blacktail Butte trailhead. Contact Bloom for information at trevordavidbloom@gmail.com.

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.

Remaining projects this year are scheduled for Sept. 14 and Sept. 28. Find more information at JHWildlife.org/our-work/current-projects.

NEPA comments extended

The U.S. Forest Service is giving the public another two weeks to weigh in on planned changes to the criteria for when it deals with the public on projects that today require an 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 studying 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 regulation changes were originally open to public comment through Aug. 12. With the extension, the comment period now ends on 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 TinyURL.com/btnfcampgroundfees.

G&F commish in P’dale

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s commission never meets in Jackson Hole, but the appointed body does convene in nearby Pinedale and Dubois on occasion.

The commission’s next two-day meeting is Sept. 16 and 17 in Pinedale. A gathering in Powell Nov. 19 and 20 will close out the 2019 meetings.

Visit WGFD.wyo.gov/about-us/game-and-fish-commission for agendas and links to access video stream of the meetings.

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.

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 and Wyoming, 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.

Wildlife meeting set

An interim legislative committee that’s focused on travel, recreation, wildlife and cultural resources issues is meeting next in Dubois.

The Oct. 2 and 3 meeting agenda is not yet available but will be posted to WyoLeg.gov/committees/2019/J06.

Topics that the committee is working on between legislative sessions include creating a state gaming commission, an array of Wyoming Game and Fish Department issues, a statewide search and rescue study and more.

— Mike Koshmrl

 

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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