Yellowstone River bridge

The bridge over the Yellowstone River near Tower is under consideration to be replaced.

Y’stone bridge plans

The National Park Service is eying a replacement of a Yellowstone River bridge along the Northeast Entrance Road near Tower.

Plans are in the “scoping stage,” which includes a call for input preceding the preparation of an environmental assessment document that will weigh three options.

Option A, the customary “no action” alternative, would leave the half-century-old bridge in its current condition.

Option B would replace the bridge with a larger 1,200-foot-long bridge about 500 feet south of the existing location. One mile of new road would be constructed to line up with the new location. Following construction, the existing bridge and approximately 1 1/2 miles of existing road would be removed and the area restored.

Option C would construct a new 600-foot bridge slightly north of the existing bridge. After construction, the existing one would be removed.

Comments are due Nov. 16. Send them in to ParkPlanning.NPS.gov/yrb.

Cheatgrass views due

Dozens of square miles of the Bridger-Teton National Forest infested with invasive cheatgrass will soon be sprayed from the air.

Forest officials have signed off on a decision that will douse cheatgrass with herbicides on crucial big game winter range, within fuels reduction and logging projects and along roads, trails and power lines.

“My decision authorizes annual treatment of approximately 20,000 acres,” forest Supervisor Tricia O’Connor wrote for the decision. “This includes an estimated 5,000 to 15,000 acres that could be treated using aerial application of herbicides.”

Herbicides initially proposed for aerial operations include imazapic and rimsulfuron.

Bridger-Teton staff assembled an environmental impact statement over the past couple of years to gain authorization to spray from the air. The document weighs the effects of using aerial spraying and outlines methods approved for dealing with other nonnative plants over the next 15 years.

O’Connor’s decision must still navigate the objection process. Concerned citizens have until Tuesday to submit comments. Objections can be emailed to Regional Forester Nora Rasure at objections-intermtn-regional-office@usda.gov.

Sublette ozone meeting The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality’s annual pre-winter ozone season meeting has been set for Nov. 18.

Ozone is a problem in the region due to oil and gas drilling in the Green River basin, which, when coupled with wintertime inversions, leaves a pall of pollution over the valley. The meeting will be informational, and include the Wyoming Department of Health. In addition, DEQ has invited industry and advocacy groups to participate at stations to answer individual questions.

The public meeting will be from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Boulder Community Center, located at 304 Adams Street in Boulder.

WGFD board to meet

The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission is gathering for its next meeting Nov. 19 and 20 in Powell. It’s the last scheduled meeting of 2019.

Find an agenda and link to a livestream of the meeting at WGFD.Wyo.gov/about-us/game-and-fish-commission.

The day before the meeting, on Nov. 18, the commission is expected to hold a workshop about keeping an office in Jackson, creating a joint regional office in Pinedale or going with one of several other options. Details about the workshop have not been announced.

Wildlife photo contest

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s in-house magazine, Wyoming Wildlife, has put out a call for submissions for its 49th annual photo contest.

Photos are being accepted online until midnight Nov. 25. Winning entries will be published in the February 2020 photo issue of Wyoming Wildlife. The grand-prize winner will receive $600 for the best overall photo and a $350 voucher for a print on metal, gallery mount or other canvas at Artizen Photo Printing.

Prizes are also offered for first, second and third places in each of the four photo categories.

Contestants can submit up to 10 photographs, and the maximum size for each is 9 megabytes. Each must represent one of the following categories: wildlife, scenic, recreation, flora.

Submit images at TinyURL.com/wyomingwildlife19. Contact Patrick Owen with any questions at 777-4547.

Habitat grants offered

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is seeking proposals for projects that enhance and improve the quality of state-identified priority big-game winter range, stopover areas and migration corridors on federal and private land.

Some $3.25 million is set aside for the effort. Projects in Wyoming and 10 other western states qualify.

A detailed RFP is available online at NFWF.org/rockymountains/documents/2020migrationsrfp.pdf.

Proposals are due by Dec. 2. Email Seth with questions at seth.gallagher@nfwf.org.

— 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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