Volume 2, Number 31 - October 31, 2002
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County & State Briefs
Bears doing well
Dave Moody of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WG&F) said the grizzly bear population in the Yellowstone ecosystem now totals just under 600 bears.
With a recovery criteria of 15 unduplicated females with young, WG&F Commissioner Gary Lundvall pointed out that the bear population now has more than three times as many females with young as the recovery criteria calls for.
WG&F's Reg Rothwell said delisting could occur as soon as 2005, but environmental groups are expected to file lawsuits in attempt to stop the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from removing grizzlies from federal protection.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that there must be 30 breeding pairs distributed over a three-state area for three consecutive years for gray wolves in the Northern Rockies to be eligible for removal from the federal list of endangered species.
Dave Moody of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department reported that this December will be the third consecutive year, so it appears the recovery goal has been met.
Moody said northwestern Montana has 19 wolf packs with seven breeding pairs, for a total population of 80-85 wolves.
Idaho has 22 wolf packs, Moody said, with 14 breeding pairs, for a total population of 260 wolves.
Wyoming has 24 wolf packs, 13 of which are breeding pairs, for a total of 218-220 wolves, Moody reported.
This minimum of 34 breeding pairs puts the Northern Rockies well over the recovery criteria of 30 breeding pairs, Moody reported. He added that 8-10 packs are in Yellowstone National Park, while six to eight packs are located in Wyoming outside the park. Moody said the Yellowstone wolf population continues to grow at a rate of about 22 percent per year.
Farm Bureau meeting
The Sublette County Farm Bureau will hold a meeting in the Farm Bureau office in Big Piney on Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. All Farm Bureau members are invited to attend the session to discuss issues of concern. Anyone interested in this agricultural advocacy organization is invited to attend as well.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is planning to establish a Pinedale Anticline Working Group and Task Groups chartered under the Federal Advisory Commission Act. The BLM had already informally created these groups two years ago, but a federal lawsuit by Yates Petroleum revealed that the groups had not been legally established in compliance with federal law.
The BLM has now taken care of that issue, and according to a notice in the Federal Register, the working group and task groups will advise the BLM Pinedale Field Office Manager on matters related to the implementation of the Pinedale Anticline environmental impact statement and record of decision.
Membership of the working group and task groups will include one representative each of the State of Wyoming, Town of Pinedale, oil and gas operators, county, environmental interests, affected landowners and livestock operators; and two representatives of the public at large.
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