From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 2, Number 50 - March 13, 2003
brought to you online by Pinedale Online


BTNF: No gas leasing

Bridger-Teton National Forest Supervisor Kniffy Hamilton sent a letter last week to the Bureau of Land Management informing BLM personnel of her decision to not authorize the BLM to issue oil and gas leases on portions of the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

Segments of forest covered by this decision are management areas 21, 45, 71, and 72, also known as the Hoback Basin, Moccasin Basin, Union Pass and the Upper Green River Basin respectively.

This decision to not authorize leasing of these management areas at this time is based upon the desire to maintain the character of these lands for recreation opportunities prized by local residents and regional and national visitors, according to a release from the agency.

"After carefully considering all of these factors, I have determined that leasing these areas of the forest for oil and gas development could compromise their nationally significant character and highly valued recreation opportunities," said Hamilton.

The opportunity to re-evaluate these management areas for leasing can occur at a future time should new information become available, or if conditions change. Addressing concerns about national energy needs, Hamilton stated that with the conclusion of the analysis for these management areas, forest personnel will now be available to respond to a backlog of lease requests for portions of the Bridger-Teton National Forest where consent to lease has already been given.

"The Bridger-Teton National Forest will explore options with regional and national specialists on ways to expedite existing lease requests for the development of energy resources on forest lands," said Hamilton.

Presently, 18-percent of the Bridger-Teton National Forest is available for natural gas and petroleum production with portions of the forest providing helium, carbon dioxide, methane and other minerals.

Two wolves killed

Two wolves were killed near Cokeville last week after the animals killed domestic sheep near Wyoming's border with Utah, according to federal officials. The rancher, who reportedly chased the animals off, saw the two black, adult male wolves in a sheep pen.

The rancher was then faced with two mortally wounded sheep, which had to be euthanized. Federal officials managed to find the two wolves later in the day and destroyed them as well.

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